The Kerala House on Monday decided to remove buffalo meat from its menu after the Delhi Police landed up at the state guest house acting on an alleged complaint of beef being served in the canteen.
Police sources said the complaint was made by a member of the right-wing Hindu Sena who said the guest house near Jantar Mantar was serving “beef curry”. Not taking any chances after similar rumours led to the lynching of a 55-year-old man last month, a police team arrived at Kerala House around 4pm and stationed officers at all major entry points.
Officials at the guest house, however, told the police they did not have the authority to search the building, a property of the Kerala government. The police had to contend with questioning the guest house and canteen staff at the building gate and were told that all meat was sourced from slaughter houses authorised by the Delhi government.
Cow meat is banned in the entire Delhi-NCR region.
“Two unidentified people accompanied by the Delhi Police came to Kerala House. They quizzed (Kerala) government officials and canteen staff. We told the police that we buy meat that comes from Delhi-government authorised slaughter houses,” said K Joseph, a member of the canteen board. The staff-run canteen also caters to outsiders.
Gopan Kumar, a Kerala House official, told HT, “They (Delhi Police) were stopped at the building gate and told that they do not have the requisite permission to raid a state government property.”
Kerala House also decided to discontinue buffalo meat after the Delhi Police visit that came amidst a raging nation-wide debate on beef ban and growing incidents of intolerance.
Reacting sharply, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said such “moral policing” was unacceptable.
“If anyone is violating the law, he should be punished. But under this government, we see imposition of so-called morality standards. Also, violating the right of a state is a serious matter,” he told HT.
Coinciding with the raid, a self-proclaimed Hindu Rashtra activist posted an image of a menu card on Facebook, claiming it was from the Kerala House canteen. The accompanying text read: “This is the board in Delhi Kerala house... Openly selling beef... Let us see.”