Delhi saree row: NCW directs police chief to act against restaurant if allegations found true
The National Commission for Women (NCW) said on Thursday it has directed the police commissioner of Delhi to take action against a city-based restaurant if allegations against it of refusing entry to a guest only because she was wearing a saree are found to be true.
“@NCWIndia has taken cognisance. Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to @CPDelhi to take action against the restaurant if allegations are found to be true. We have also asked its marketing and PR director to appear before the Commission for a hearing on September 28,” the NCW shared on its official Twitter handle, quote-tweeting Rekha Sharma, who heads the body.
“We have already taken up the issue,” Sharma tweeted in response to Vanathi Srinivasan, who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) women's wing, and who wrote to her seeking action against the restaurant, Aquila.
“Reportedly, the restaurant's dress code policy for guests allows only smart casuals, and, according to the eatery, saree does not come under smart casuals. However, it is a part of Indian culture and women in India majorly wear saree, therefore denying any woman entry into a restaurant on the basis of her attire is a violation of her right to live with dignity,” the NCW noted in a statement, according to news agency PTI. The women's body added that it condemns the “arbitrary and bizarre” behaviour of the staff, as well as the restaurant's policies.
The controversy pertains to a 10-second clip from Aquila, located in south Delhi, showing a scuffle between its staff and the woman, who alleged that she was stopped from entering only because she was clad in a saree. However, in its defence, the restaurant accused the customer of “fighting and abusing our staff.” It also said that it has always welcomed guests in all dress codes, from modern to traditional.
The incident took place on September 19.