New Delhi, 23 July-2014, HT: At least 11 members of Parliament belonging to the Shiv Sena allegedly forced a Muslim catering supervisor, who was fasting for Ramzan, to eat a chapati at the new Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi last week, an Indian Express report said on Wednesday.
The MPs were apparently angry over not being served Maharashtrian food, the report said.
The Express said a letter sent to Maharashtra chief secretary J Saharia has named the 11 Shiv Sena MPs as Sanjay Raut (Rajya Sabha), Anandrao Adsul (Amravati), Rajan Vichare (Thane), Arvind Sawant (Mumbai-South), Hemant Godse (Nashik), Krupal Tumane (Ramtek), Ravindra Gaikwad (Osmanabad), Vinayak Raut (Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg), Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (Shirur), Rahul Shewale (Mumbai-South Central) and Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan).
Caught clearly on camera: Sena MP Rajan Vichare forcing chapati into Muslim staffer’s mouth
Caught clearly on camera: Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare forcing chapati into Muslim staffer’s mouth. Watch the full footage exclusively
IRCTC, the Indian Railways subsidiary that was catering for the Sadan, has stopped all operations in protest, and complained to the Maharashtra resident commissioner Bipin Mallick.
IRCTC deputy general manager Shankar Malhotra wrote an email to Mallick on July 17 saying the MPs misbehaved with the staff at the public dining and forced the resident manager Arshad to eat a chapati.
“The specific incident happened with the Resident Manager/IRCTC, Sh. Arshad who was forced to consume full chapati whilst he was having fast on the eve of Ramzan. The concerned has been deeply pained and hurt on this account as religious sentiments are attached,” Malhotra wrote.
Arshad too has complained to the resident commissioner.
“All the guests along with media reporters and staffs of Maharashtra Sadan got into 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 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,” the Express quoted from his letter.
The Express said resident commissioner Mallick has sent a letter of apology to IRCTC expressing “his shock” at the incident.
The manager of the Sadan in his report about the incident has said “the mob”, which included the MPs’ supporters and members of the media, damaged the resident commissioner’s office.
“The mob threatened to break the glass door of RC’s chamber in New Maharashtra Sadan, forced an employee to open the door, occupied the cabin and started shouting slogans etc. Thereafter, the mob broke the wall clock in RC’s cabin and wrote ‘Jai Maharashtra’ on the wall,” the manager said in his report.
The state government has said it is examining the matter, and has promised “appropriate action”.
The MPs on their part say they were “insulted” at the Sadan and that the allegations against them are “wrong”.