‘Police entry into Kerala House was illegal’

Delhi: The Delhi police suffered a blow on Wednesday as its repeated claims of raiding Kerela House as a “preventive measure” was trashed by a report prepared by the Delhi government’s animal husbandry department.

The report, which has been submitted to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, states that the entry of the Delhi police to the canteen of the State house “cannot be construed as a visit for enforcement of law and order.” It maintained that the police officials rather visited “for the sole purpose of investigation of a complaint related to serving of beef (cow meat).”

In the 13-page report, Rajiv Khosla, Director, Animal Husbandry, said that the Delhi police had no authority to enter, inquire into or search the alleged presence and sale of cow meat in the canteen, Samridhi. Stating the chronology of events, he observed that the police officials visited Kerala House twice – the second time, despite being repeatedly informed that only buffalo meat was served.

‘Absolutely unethical’

“During the first visit of the officials of the Delhi police to the canteen of Kerala House, it was amply clear that no beef is served in the canteen of Kerela House and, therefore, the subsequent visit of the officials of the Delhi police just after 15-20 minutes was absolutely unethical,” his report read, a copy of which is with The Hindu.

According to events stated in the report, the first team of police officials reached the spot at 4:15 p.m. on October 26 and enquired about a complaint received on beef being served. Thirty minutes later, a second team of around 20 officials arrived to dig more into the food being served.

‘Norms not followed’

Mr. Khosla further said, “The Delhi police team did not follow the prescribed provisions of the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act by not informing the competent authority, i..e, Director, Animal Husbandry GNCTD or any veterinary officer authorised and ensuring their presence at the time of visit as per provisions of Section 2(b) read with Section 8 of DACP Act.”

The report also suggested a few recommendations, which included spreading awareness of the DACP Act among the people.

Meanwhile, when confronted with the fact that, despite all its rhetoric and condemnation of the actions of the police team concerned, the officials who actually led the raid at Kerala House seemed to have got away with a mere rap on their knuckles, a senior government official said that it was on the contrary.

According to the official, the report had been shared with the government of Kerala, which if the official is to be believed, had assured its counterparts in the Capital of taking the matter up with the Ministry of Home Affairs with a view to seeking criminal proceedings against the policemen involved.

As reported byThe Hindu precisely a week ago, the Delhi government was of the view that the raid conducted was not only an instance of trespass of a State house by the police officials but also “jurisdictional trespass” in terms of the flouting of several sections included in the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, which it is in the domain of the government and not for the police to enforce.