Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday rushed a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention after the Delhi Police raided the canteen of Kerala House for serving ‘beef’. In the light of yesterday’s events, Kerala House has temporarily taken buffalo meat off its menu, according to the officials running the canteen.
Chandy, in his letter, said the prime minister should issue a directive to the union home minister to take stringent action against those responsible for trespassing into the property of Kerala government and ensure that these kind of incidents do not occur again.
He said the police raided the canteen without any permission from the resident commissioner of the Kerala House.
“The police and those accompanied the force disrupted the functioning of the canteen alleging cow meat was served. It was a wrong information that cow meat was served. I would like to inform you that the canteen serves vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisine and the items in the menu are in accordance with and within the confines of the existing law, ” said Chandy.
He said the action of Delhi Police was highly objectionable and they have overstepped their brief. They should have contacted the senior state government officials for any clarifications before disrupting the smooth functioning of Kerala House, said Chandy.
BJP state president (Kerala) V Muraleedharan alleged that the controversy was created to show the Central Government and the BJP in poor light.
The chief minister should not have reacted without realising the truth, Muraleedharan said.
“Why beef was written in Malayalam and other items in English in the menu of the Kerala House canteen. That shows something illegal was going on and the authorities wanted to cover it up. Police went there following complaint from two persons who had gone to the canteen. It is the duty of police to address a complaint,” said Muraleedharan.
The Kerala government today asserted that there was no beef being served at Kerala House here and lodged a complaint with Delhi Police over the unauthorised entry of some activists into the state-run guest house even as buffalo meat was removed from the menu.
Briefing reporters at Kerala House in Delhi, Kerala Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson dismissed claims that beef was served in the canteen there.
“No. I totally deny it. We have never done it. What they have done is they have given buffalo meat and that is what they term as beef. No cow meat was served,” he said.
He said a complaint has been lodged with Delhi Police over the entry of some activists into Kerala House without taking permission from the Resident Commissioner.
“Yesterday, we were told that some activists have entered without the permission of the Resident Commissioner. We have taken objection to that. We have lodged a complaint with the DCP (of Delhi Police),” he said.
The Chief Secretary also said that police should have entered with permission yesterday.
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 27, 2015
Meanwhile, A Sampath, a CPI(M) MP representing Attingal Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, said that the incident was “humiliating” for the state government.
“As a member of Parliament, I feel that it is something humiliating to the state government…This (Kerala House) is the property of the Government of Kerala, just like a foreign nation having its embassy here in India. I am not challenging the powers of the Government of India. But what has happened here is highly deplorable. I suspect there might be some political motive behind it,” he said.
He also asked Kerala government to bring buffalo meat back on the menu.
Meanwhile, frequent visitors to the canteen at Kerala House expressed their disappointment over the absence of buffalo meat.
“I visit the restaurant more that once a week to have buffalo meat… But now I am disappointed to find buffalo meat off the menu,” said Kerala-based Anu, who is presently residing in Delhi.
I strongly condemn what happened in Delhi at Kerala Bhavan.An unwise and unhealthy attempt to curb fundamental rights of people.Intolereance
A PCR call complaining about beef curry being served at Kerala House here threw police into a tizzy yesterday and a team had to be sent there to avert any “untoward incident”.
The call was received by the police control room around 4.15 PM, and the caller, claiming to be from a fringe right-wing group, told the police that beef was being served at Kerala House.
The policemen took no chance and the input was immediately passed on to Parliament Street police station, from where a team was sent to Kerala House to deal with any potential violence.
with PTI inputs
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines