Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought a report on the alleged raid on the Kerala House canteen by the Delhi Police, which has triggered a massive political controversy.
The police action was denounced by the Delhi government as well as the Kerala government, with the latter threatening to take legal action against the Delhi Police.
Facing severe flak over the incident, the Delhi Police had claimed that its officers had visited the canteen at Kerala House in response to a complaint about cow meat being served there.
The complaint had been made by Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta, who was arrested on Wednesday on charges of filing a fraudulent complaint.
The police had maintained that it had visited Kerala House to prevent any untoward incidents or trouble caused by Hindu Sena activists.
The canteen authorities had clarified that the item being served there was buffalo meat.
Meanwhile, officials of the Delhi government’s Animal Husbandry Department visited Kerala House on Thursday to inquire about the alleged raid.
According to a government official, Section 11 of the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, specifies that the power of entry, search and seizure rests with the competent authority — the Animal Husbandry Department — and not with the police. The inquiry has been initiated to ascertain the role of the police in the incident, said sources.
“We have recorded the statements of the staff, but we cannot divulge anything before Monday,” said Rajiv Khosla, director, Animal Husbandry Department.
“We narrated the whole incident to them and also provided bills of the shop from where we procure buffalo meat,” said an employee of the canteen.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wrote another letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reminding him that the state government has been legally advised to take action against Delhi police. “The state views the whole episode as a total disregard for niceties and refinement by the police which is controlled by the Union Government in a constitutionally federal structure,” stated the letter.
Chandy also explained in detail the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act of 1994, and the fact that the meat cooked in Kerala House did not belong to any animal prohibited under the act.