Nearly 20 police officials went to Kerala House Monday evening after Vishnu Gupta, a Hindu Sena leader, called and complained the canteen at the state guest house was serving beef, said police.
Police officials were seen in the canteen, talking to the employees. However, the Kerala House said they served only buffalo meat and had named it “beef”.
Confirming the incident, a senior police official of New Delhi district said they received a PCR call around 4.30 pm over “beef” being served in the canteen. The officer said the police rushed to the spot to prevent any untoward situation.
“It was a preventive measure. The police went to the canteen and informed the staff of the complaint of the Hindu Sena, but did not collect any samples from the canteen,” said the officer. He added that when the police reached Kerala House, a few Hindu Sena activists were present at the spot.
Asked about the identification of the caller, he said, “The caller was Hindu Sena leader Vishnu Gupta. We will be talking to him.”
The officer said the police had not detained anyone. One Hindu Sena activist was taken to Connaught Place Police Station for questioning and released, added the officer.
After the police visit to Kerala House, Gupta said they did not act according to the complaint. “I made a PCR call informing the police to act as the Kerala House on its menu listed Beef Fry as a dish. They were serving cow meat, but the police did not even inquire if the canteen served cow’s meat. The police did not even ask for a sample of the meat served in the canteen,” alleged Gupta. He identified the Hindu Sena activist questioned at Connaught Place police station as Saket Singh.
When asked what had made him call the PCR, Gupta said VHP member Pratheesh Vishwanath had informed him. “Prateesh Vishwanath of VHP sent me a picture of the menu and told me over phone from Kerala that the Kerala House in Delhi was serving beef. Pratheesh told me he got to know of this from his Malayali friends in Delhi,” added Gupta.
A post on the the Facebook page of Vishwanath, with a picture of the menu in the Kerala House canteen, said, “This is the board in delhi kerala house…openly selling beef…let us see (sic).” Vishwanath could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.
Dismissing the Hindu Sena’s allegations, a Kerala House official said, “Somebody has misled the police saying it was cow meat. So police came and spoke to the elected committee members who run the canteen. The members said they only served buffalo meat. The canteen buys the meat from NDMC authorised shops in Delhi.”
After the controversy, the controller added that they will stop serving buffalo meat as of now.
The Hindu on October 9, had reported that Pratheesh Vishwanath, a 34-year-old lawyer and a full-time VHP worker from Aranmula, Kerala, is the chief architect of the BJP-SNDP Yogam Alliance.
The article concluded with SNDP Yogam vice-president Thushar Vellappally’s comment. The article stated, “Vellappally said Mr. Viswanath was his long-time friend who had attended various meetings between the Yogam leaders and the VHP-BJP Central leadership, but ‘only as a translator…”
Last week, the Hindu Sena smeared ink on Jammu and Kashmir MLA Engineer Rashid for holding a “beef party” at the MLA quarters in Srinagar. Rashid was attacked when he was holding a press conference in the connection with the death of a Valley trucker who was attacked in Udhampur over “beef” rumours.