The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs Tuesday questioned Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on the Delhi Police raid at Kerala House over allegations of beef being served there.
Armed with Delhi government’s report on the raid, the MPs asked under whose orders the action was taken. They also asked about the action the ministry had taken against that officer.
The report concluded that the raid was an act of overreach on the part of police, as under rules of Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, the police do not have any authority to act on complaints of sale of cow meat.
The AAP, which is in power in Delhi, has no representation on the panel. It was the TMC that raised the issue. Amid the apparent bonhomie between the two parties, AAP leaders had approached TMC MPs to raise the issue at the committee, sources said.
In October, police raided Kerala House reportedly on receiving complaints of sale of beef in the canteen. The action caused outrage, with Kerala CM Oommen Chandy writing to the PM about police entering premises belonging to a state government. The AAP government, whose relation with the Delhi Police has been rocky, also criticised the raid.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Mehrishi was also asked why the ministry was not taking action against Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi when he had been openly critical of a democratically elected state government. The home secretary was asked to submit a written reply on the circumstances under which Delhi Police raided Kerala House, the officer under whose instructions the raid was carried out, and what action had been taken against that officer.
The panel, which met to discuss communal harmony, expressed concern about discrepancies in the figures of communal incidents compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau and Home Ministry. Members also raised the issue of atrocities against SC and STs.
They also urged the Home Ministry to ‘adopt a secular style of functioning’.