Updated: July 27, 2021 7:07:37 am
Congress Lok Sabha MP from Kerala Ramya Haridas’s presence at a restaurant in Palakkad, along with other party workers, by flouting lockdown restrictions has snowballed into a controversy after a food delivery agent who questioned the MP’s presence at the eatery was allegedly manhandled by party workers accompanying her.
A case has been registered against the restaurant, and it has been asked to close down after the “lockdown violations came to notice”, Inspector (Palakkad Kasaba) N S Rajeev said.
On Sunday, Sanoof Muhammed, who works for a food delivery app and was waiting to pick up an order from the restaurant, said Haridas was waiting for lunch at a table in the restaurant along with former MLA V T Balram and other Congress workers. Sanoof questioned violation of the lockdown restrictions as well as Covid-19 protocol by the MP, who later claimed to be waiting for a food parcel.
Even as he questioned their presence at the restaurant, Sanoof pictured them with his cellphone, which apparently provoked the Congress workers accompanying Haridas, who allegedly assaulted Sanoof. The youth subsequently went to a local hospital for treatment.
A video showing the MP and other party workers waiting at a table in the restaurant surfaced on social media on Sunday evening.
Haridas, who represents Alathur in Lok Sabha, told the media that she had ordered food parcel and was waiting for it. “As it was raining, the hotel staff invited me and the others inside and we sat at a table, waiting for the parcel. If we had dined at the hotel, let the person reveal (that in) the video. I am recovering from a surgery and cannot stand for long on health grounds. So I sat at the table.”
She also alleged, “The person who shot the video tried to provoke us. While recording the conversion, his hand touched my hand. Subsequently the others accompanying me intervened.”
Sanoof denied this and said, “I didn’t want to target anyone. I only questioned the MP, who holds a responsible post. I haven’t insulted her. Her allegation that I touched her hand is baseless.”
Police said the issue ended in a scuffle after Congress workers accompanying Haridas questioned the youth for recording them on his mobile phone.
CPI(M) Palakkad district secretary C K Rajendran sought action against Haridas for violating Covid-19 protocol. “The government has banned dining at hotels across the state. But an MP, who should be a model for the society, has taken the lead for blatantly violating the norms. Congress leaders have torpedoed the health protocol fixed by the government. Action should be taken against the Congress MP and others who went to the hotel with her,’’ Rajendran said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.