Sena MPs Force Muslim Staffer to Break Ramadan Fast: Uproar in Parliament

The Indian Express first reported the story sparking outrage.
The Indian Express first reported the story sparking outrage.

Reports that Shiv Sena MPs forced a staff member, who belonged to the minority community, to eat a roti, thus forcing him to break his Ramadan fast, sent shock waves through political circles

Indian Express

NEW DELHI — The Lok Sabha was on Wednesday adjourned after it witnessed uproar over a report in The Indian Express of Shiv Sena MPs ‘forcing’ Muslim staffer to eat during Ramzan fast. Shiv Sena MP Anant Geete, addressing the House, termed the allegations as baseless.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, several Opposition membes raised the issue and termed it as violation of religious beliefs.

Members from Congress, RJD, Trinamool Congress and AIMIM were on their feet raising the issue. PDP members too were seen waiving a paper but they could not be heard in the din.

AIADMK members were seen waiving a copy of an English daily but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked them not to raise the same question every time.

The Speaker said the members should allow the Question Hour to proceed smoothly and she would allow the issue to be raised during Zero Hour.

She said Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete had met her separately.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the issue could not be raised as “nobody knows the facts” and before raking up the issue the facts should be ascertained.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House when the issue was raised.

After the Speaker’s assurance, the House proceeded with the Question Hour.

This comes after The Indian Express reported that a group of around 11 Shiv Sena MPs, apparently angry over not being served Maharashtrian food, allegedly forced a Muslim catering superviser who was fasting for Ramzan to eat a chapati at the new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi last week.

Within hours, IRCTC, the Indian Railways subsidiary that was catering for the Sadan, stopped all operations in protest, and complained in writing to the Maharashtra Resident Commissioner, saying the employee, Arshad Zubair S, had been “deeply pained and hurt… as religious sentiments are attached”.

The Resident Commissioner subsequently apologised to IRCTC and Arshad, and asked to “meet him personally (to) convey the sentiments of our government”.–With PTI Inputs

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