Centre under attack after police ‘raid’ Kerala House canteen for serving beef

OUR BUREAU New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Oommen Chandy raises issue with PM; assault on federal structure, says Kejriwal

The Delhi Police’s decision to “raid” the staff canteen of Kerala House on Monday after a Hindutva outfit complained of cow meat being served turned into a political controversy on Tuesday. With non-NDA parties accusing the Narendra Modi government of damaging the federal structure of the country, the government said the police was only ensuring law and order.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wrote to the Prime Minister saying the Delhi Police had neither sought permission nor informed the Resident Commissioner of Kerala House before raiding the premises. The Kerala Government has lodged a formal complaint with Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi against the raids.

Chandy said the canteen serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian Kerala cuisine and the items in the menu are in accordance with and “entirely within the confines of the existing law”.

“In the circumstances, I feel that the action of Delhi Police is highly objectionable and they have clearly overstepped their brief. They should have at least contacted the senior State functionaries in Delhi for any clarifications before disrupting the smooth functioning of Kerala House,” Chandy said in the letter.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came out in support of Chandy. “I strongly condemn Delhi Police raid on Kerala house. I agree with Kerala CM that Kerala House is a govt establishment and not a private hotel. It is an attack on federal structure. Delhi Police is acting like BJP Sena. Will Delhi Police go and arrest a CM from a State Bhavan in Delhi if they suspect the CM to be eating something the BJP or Modi ji don’t like?(sic)” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.

Govt justifies action

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, however, justified the police action. “Where is the question of federal issue in this? One fellow wanted to create a scene. The police went there to enquire about the incident and came back,” he said and added that the Prime Minister will look into the statement made by Chandy.

It was no raid: police

Bassi said it was not a raid. “It in fact was a preventive measure as per our standing operating procedures. We had alerted their private security staff as soon as we got a call to prevent any protest. We also deployed possible security measures there and alerted the staff working there,” the Commissioner told reporters.

Beef back on the menu

Kerala House authorities, who had decided to take beef off from the menu temporarily on Monday, decided to continue its supply from Wednesday. “This is not a slaughter house. The canteen buys buffalo meat from government authorised stalls,” said Lok Sabha MP A Sampath.

Published on October 27, 2015

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