Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Act against Delhi Police: Oommen Chandy writes to PM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Slamming the "raid" at Kerala House in New Delhi over an allegation that beef was being serve there, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming the episode "highly objectionable".

Charging that Delhi Police had overstepped their brief, he asked Modi to take strong action over the incident. And, even as criticism was voiced by Congress and Left parties in the state over the matter, two key Kerala MPs vowed to raise the issue in Parliament during the Winter session.

Congress Deputy Chief Whip in Lok Sabha, KC Venugopal, and CPI(M) Deputy leader in Rajya Sabha, KN Balagopal, said they would take up the incident and raise the issue of killings in the name of consumption of beef when Parliament meets next month.

In his letter to the prime minister, Chandy termed "highly objectionable" the raid by Delhi Police at the canteen at Kerala House and sought stringent action against those responsible for the action at the state-run guest house.

"I feel that the action by Delhi Police is highly objectionable and they have clearly overstepped their brief," the Chief Minister said.

Detailing the incident, Chandy charged that a few unidentified persons accompanied by Delhi Police officials last evening came to Kerala House and conducted a raid on the staff canteen.

They disrupted the functioning of the canteen alleging that cooked cow meat was being served, Chandy claimed, adding that the complaint was based on "wrong information".

Delhi Police officials questioned the staff regarding the food items served at the canteen and Chandy said that the "raid" was conducted without any permission or prior information to local state government officials, he said.

Kerala government has already lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police Commissioner in this regard, he said.

Chandy told the prime minister that the Kerala House canteen served authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian state cuisine and the items on the menu were in accordance with and "entirely within the confines of the existing law".

He wanted Modi to instruct the Union Home Minister to take action against those responsible for the act and also ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

Meanwhile, among the political leaders who slammed the incident were former Defence Minister AK Antony, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC President VM Sudheeran and LDF leaders.

Chennithala said the police action was an infringement on the powers of the state while Sudheeran termed the issue a challenge to the "Federal set up of the country".

Congress leader Antony said that the freedom of an individual to eat and wear what he or she felt like should not be infringed upon.

CPI(M) Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that the police action at Kerala House was part of Sangh Parivar agenda as he sought to attack the BJP-led government at the Centre.

"There is neither any ban on beef in Delhi nor any restriction to cook or sell it at Kerala House. Delhi Police's illegal action is part of the Sangh Parivar agenda," Vijayan, former CPI-M state secretary said in a Facebook post.

In Kochi,  Venugopal said the Prime Minister would have to answer in Parliament for the "searches" at the guest house.

"Who gave authority to Delhi Police to conduct searches at Kerala House? I condemn the Prime Minister's inaction against the fascist elements trying to interfere with the food habits of crores of people of the nation," said Venugopal.

Accusing the prime minister of "keeping silent for days" after the Dadri lynching, Balagopal said, "Modi will have to answer us in Parliament about violent incidents occurring under his rule in the country over consumption of food.

"Delhi Police was acting at the behest of the forces trying to infringe upon the fundamental rights of the people of the country."

The Rajya Sabha MP further told PTI in Kochi that the issue will be raised in Parliament when it convenes for the Winter Session "because it is a question of the fundamental rights of Malayalees".

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