Attack on secularism: Protesters

Citizens slam Centre for 'undeclared emergency'

Even as the buffalo meat returned on the menu of the Kerala House Canteen, various Malayali organisations and students across institutions protested against the Delhi Police and the Central government over the alleged police raid.

Holding posters such as ‘Don’t attack on Citizen’s Right to Eat’, the protestors formed a human chain and shouted slogans against Delhi Police.

“The Delhi Police raided the canteen without proper permissions. They broke the law and the police Commissioner B S Bassi, along with the Government of India, is trying to break the national integrity,” C Chandran, General Secretary of Delhi Malayali Association, said while addressing the protesters.

“It is not a question of only beef. It is an attack on secularism. The government has proclaimed a kind of undeclared emergency,” said V Sivadasan, National President of Students Federation of India.

 The protest saw the participation from a number of students from Delhi University, JNU, and Jamia Millia Islamia, who shouted slogans such as “Cultural Fascism down-down” and appealed to the prime minister to “break his silence”.

“It is an attack on our right to food. Through this protest we are trying to send a message directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that some fringe groups cannot curtail our right to food. The PM speaks on various issues but is conveniently silent on issues like Dadri killing and raid on the canteen,” said Jamir, a student of JNU.

“India is known for cultural diversity and Kerala House is a symbol of Kerala’s food culture and unity. We can’t even think of police suddenly coming here and raiding it on a complaint,” said Fahad, a PHD scholar from Jamia.

Another student blamed the BJP government for the raid. “We can interpret this incident in so many ways. But this all leads to the BJP government at the Centre”.

Buffalo meat, which was briefly out of the menu of the Kerala House canteen after the Delhi police entered its premises, was back on Wednesday.

“What Delhi Police did was completely wrong. I am living in Delhi since last many years and this is the first time a controversy like this has erupted. The non-Keralites have never complained of our food habits,” said a protester who has been living in Delhi since 1977.

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