From the first complaint about Sena MPs force-feeding a catering supervisor to the withdrawal of IRCTC from New Maharashtra Sadan, the letters they sent one another.
The victim’s complaint
‘Caused my fast to break’
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Today there was a meeting of 12-15 guests at New Maharashtra Sadan in which they were complaining about the services of electrical, civil, housekeeping, catering, etc, which they are facing for the last several months. The complaints were put up in the press conference by those guests today. Also, catering complaints were put up regarding quality of food, services, unavailability of items on the menu. The main part of the complaint was that the authentic Maharashtra cuisine is not being served. The guests demanded a Maharashtrian caterer in the NMS.
After the press conference, all guests along with media reporters and staff of Maharashtra Sadan got into the kitchen where I was getting the orders prepared. They caught me and put the chapati into my mouth. I was wearing a formal uniform set as prescribed by IRCTC and everybody in the panel also knew my name as “Arshad” as I was wearing the name tag. Even then they inserted the chapati in my mouth which caused my fast to break on the eve of Ramzan. I was hurt with the thing they have done as religious sentiments are concerned. After that they demanded the presence of contractor’s in-charge. But due to unavailability of anybody from the licensee’s side, there was nobody to give the statement.
This is for your kind information, sir.
Arshad Zubair S, Supervisor, catering, IRCTC/CO/NRC (July 17)
IRCTC informs Resident Commissioner
‘Not the first such incident’
Today there was a meeting of 12-15 MPs at New Maharashtra Sadan in the press conference hall in which they were complaining about the services of electrical, civil, housekeeping, catering, etc, which they are facing for the last several months on the premises of Maharashtra Sadan.
The entire delegation along with media and manager, Maharashtra Sadan, walked inside the public dining hall and started throwing the chafing dish covers in the buffet area. They also issued physical threats to the kitchen and service staff while using highly objectionable language. The specific incident happened with the resident manager/IRCTC, Arshad, who was forced to consume a full chapati whilst he was fasting on the eve of Ramzan. The concerned has been deeply pained and hurt as religious sentiments are [involved].
They demanded Maharashtrian caterer in the NMS. It may be noted that this is not the first time that such an incident has happened. We have received no support from the NMS management in this regard.
The matter has been [referred] to our senior management.
Shankar Malhotra, Dy GM/NRP/Admn (July 17)
‘Deeply shocked, may I meet him?’
Dear Mr Malhotra,
I am deeply shocked to hear about the reported incident of yesterday. I can understand the pain and agony of your resident manager, Mr Arshad, who was forced to do something against his religious beliefs. On behalf of my state government, I convey sincere apology to Mr Arshad for the indignation caused to him by a few Hon’ble MPs while he was performing his duties and rendering services for our government. I would like to meet him personally and convey the sentiments of our government. Accordingly, you are requested to organise a meeting with the officer at the earliest. I am willing even to accompany you to the place of his stay if you so advise.
Bipin Mallick, Resident Commissioner, Maharashtra (July 18)
‘Hostility makes staff uncomfortable’
IRCTC and its service provider at New Maharashtra Sadan, New Delhi, have been facing numerous instances of misbehaviour while operating in NMS, in the last few weeks.
These were taken in stride considering the stature of the guests. Also we have conveyed our reluctance to continue due to losses being incurred by IRCTC in this project, and a new model has been proposed to you…
On July 17, 2014, however, there have been instances of manhandling of staff, use of abusive language, discriminatory actions with regional and religious biases and veiled threats towards the personnel of IRCTC as well as the service provider. The tone and tenor of the guests indicated a hostility which makes it extremely uncomfortable for the ‘on duty’ staff. Reports of incidents, submitted by staff of IRCTC and service provided, are enclosed for your kind perusal.
The unsavoury incidents of July 17, coupled with total noncooperation, leave IRCTC with no choice other than withdrawing from NMS. IRCTC, therefore, expresses its inability to continue the services at New Maharashtra Sadan, irrespective of the MoU conditions, with immediate effect.
You are requested to nominate an official to take over the site.
This issues with the approval of the competent authority.
Sudhir Warrier, Addl General Manager (NRP) July 18
And the 10 who were with him
Sanjay Raut, 52
A journalist, Raut climbed up the Shiv Sena ranks thanks to his association with the Thackeray family and was made an editor of the party’s mouth piece, Saamna, in 1991. Since then, he has been known to have ghost-written most of the editorials and annual interviews that would appear in Saamna. The Thackerays repaid his loyalty by making him a Rajya Sabha member in 2004. He is known to have the ear of Sena President Uddhav Thackeray but shares an uneasy relationship with the party’s rank and file. He has had run-ins with the law and his brother was accused off attacking a regional TV channel over what it saw as unfair criticism of Bal Thackeray.
Criminal cases: 14, including criminal intimidation, defamtaion and rioting.
Anandrao Adsul, 67
A trade unionist, Adsul was transported by the Shiv Sena from Mumbai to Buldhana in 1996 to fight the Lok Sabha election to a seat it had just swapped with the BJP. Adsul managed to win the seat and has since been reelected four times. Known to be a fiery speaker and aggressive. Adsul’s supporters were accused of attacking a newspaper office after the paper published reports about Adsul quitting the party. In the 2014 elections, his rival NCP candidate Navneet Rana had accused Adsul of abusing her.
Criminal cases: One, dealing with defamation.
Arvind Sawant, 62
Has a reputation for taking on those who he he feels have managed mess and hostel facilities badly. He once told The Indian Express in an interview that his first agitation was to protest against the quality of food and residential facilities at a Chennai hostel of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, where he was working as an engineer. He subsequently joined the Shiv Sena and has been part of its trade union wing. He has served as an MLC.
Criminal cases: One declared in affidavit; dealing with criminal intimidation, rioting and wrongful confinement.
Hemant Godse, 38
A civil engineer, Godse is a nephew of a former Shiv Sena MP Rajabhau Godse. He had begun from MNS and contested in 1999 from Nashik, where he gave the Bhujbal family a tough contest, finishing second behind Chaggan Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer. Sidelined in the MNS later, Godse joined the Shiv Sena. Incidentally, he is seen as acceptable to Muslims in his constituency.
Criminal cases: None
Krupal Tumane, 48
A rare Dalit face in the Shiv Sena, Tumane had started off in the Congress through the party’s student wing. He progressed from NSUI to the Seva Dal but was never rewarded with a ticket. His luck changed when the Ramtek seat was reserved and the Shiv Sena, in search of a viable Dalit face, got him on board. He lost in 2009 but came back strong in 2014. Tumane is usually soft-spoken.
Criminal cases: One, damage to public property.
Ravindra Gaikwad, 54
A former professor who taught commerce students of Chhatrapati Shivaji College in Omerga. Simultaneously, also a strongman facing criminal cases including one of murder. Gaikwad, a Maratha, became a Sena MLA in 2004. He lost in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections marginally against Sharad Pawar aide Padamsinh Patil, then trounced Patil in the 2014 elections.
Criminal cases: Eight, including one of murder.
Vinayak Raut, 60
The foremost amongst the second rung of the Sena leadership, Raut is known for his close association with Uddhav Thackeray. He was chosen to take on Narayan Rane in Konkan, beat Rane’s son by a huge margin in the last election. He has climbed the ranks from corporator to MLA (1999-2004) to MP. An efficient organiser, he has been the head of the Sena’s trade union arm the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena.
Criminal cases: Five, including of rioting.
Shrikant Shinde, 27
The youngest male MP from Maharshtra, he is the son of Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde. The soft-spoken orthopaedic surgeon, initially not politically inclined, was given a ticket to counter Anand Paranjape who had been elected on a Sena ticket from the constituency but later switched over to the NCP. The party wanted to project an educated face against Paranjape, who is a MBA.
Criminal cases: None.
Shivaji Adhalrao Patil, 59
One of the industrialist-politicians of Maharashtra, Patil runs a company that manufactures IT hardware. He was not associated with the Shiv Sena until 2004. He was given an election ticket soon after joining and has since been elected MP three times .
Criminal cases: 10, including one of attempted murder.
Rahul Shewale, 41
Mumbai South Central
A civil engineer, a Dalit, and one of the Sena’s youth faces. Got a ticket to an assembly election at age 31; he lost then. He has been the chairman of the standing committee of the BMC. During his election campaign, a policeman was injured in a mob attacked led allegedly by his wife.
Criminal cases: One, cheating and rioting.
The ally’s view: BJP’s Muslims and a minister
The BJP condemned the conduct of the MPs of its alliance partner but with the emphasis that it was not linked to religious sentiments. Here is what two of its Muslim leaders and a minister said:
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: ‘The incident is not linked to a religious faith. However, the conduct of the MP is not in conformity with what is expected of an elected representative of people. It is good that they (Shiv Sena) have aplogised’
Shahnwaz Hussain: ‘Nobody has the right to violate somebody’s religious beliefs. I understand the Sena MP did not know which faith the canteen official belonged to, nor was he aware that the man was on a fast. My impression is that the MP was agitated over the quality of roti and was asking him to taste it’
Prakash Javadekar: ‘It is an unsubstantiated report. We should not take it to the next level. Let it be ascertained. There are sensitivities involved’