Sena MP tries to force-feed fasting supervisor in Delhi

Sena MP tries to force-feed fasting supervisor in Delhi

I was not aware of his religious identity: Vichare 

Sena MP tries to force-feed fasting supervisor in Delhi

A Shiv Sena MP forcing a fasting Muslim catering supervisor in Maharashtra Sadan to eat chapati during the month of Ramzan rocked Parliament on Wednesday.

Furious opposition MPs condemned the act which they felt was “against the roots of secularism”.

The Lok Sabha witnessed unsavoury moments with BJP MP from South Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri storming into the Well of the House with rolled up sleeves to engage with opposition members, especially with an equally agitated AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

Bidhuri was forced by the BJP to apologise in the House for his unparliamentary conduct.

Shiv Sena MP from Thane, Rajan Vichare was caught on camera arguing and forcing Arshad Zubair, a catering supervisor in Maharashtra Sadan, to eat a chapati.

After the ruckus, Vichare told Parliament: “I did not know the person’s name, caste or community. I came to know he was a Muslim only after seeing the TV footage and I regret it.”

The issue was raised by Congress MP from Wayanad M I Shanavas and Janata Dal-United leader Ali Anwar Ansari in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively, based on a news report that appeared on Wednesday.

This led to adjournments in both the Houses with the Congress staging a walkout in the Lok Sabha.

According to reports, Shiv Sena MPs who are staying at the Maharashtra Sadan were miffed over the quality of food and overall facilities there.

They had lodged a complaint against Resident Commissioner Bipin Mallick who, the Shiv Sena MPs charged, was not paying attention to their grievances.  Also among their litany of woes was that a couple of MPs from Uttar Pradesh were being alloted bigger rooms than those from Maharashtra.

Last week, while having lunch, Vichare, one of the 11 Shiv Sena MPs, vented his anger on Zubair. The canteen is run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and their contract with Maharashtra Sadan has already been terminated as a fallout of the controversy.

Zubair lodged a complaint saying that at the time of the incident, he was wearing the IRCTC uniform bearing a badge that identified him.  “Even then they inserted chapati into 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 (sic),” stated Zubair.

When the issue was raised by Shanavas in the Lok Sabha, MPs from the Shiv Sena and the opposition started shouting. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu cautioned the members, asking them to restrain themselves from flaring “communal passions” since it was a “sensitive issue”. Naidu also tried to stop Shanavas from reading the news report in the House.

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