27/10/2015 10:42 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Police Serve Delhi's Kerala House A Stir And Fry Over Beef In Menu

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday criticised the Delhi Police for the “raids” at the Kerala House in Delhi and has said he would take up the matter with the Home Ministry.

Chandy told media persons in Kozhikode that Kerala House being a state guest house that frequently hosted senior members of Kerala's state administration "the Delhi Police should have shown restraint and cross-checked before going on a raid."

A posse of at least 20 police officials trooped into Kerala House, Delhi's state guest house late Monday, after a complaint that 'cow meat' was being served as beef on its menu. The Indian Express reported that Vishnu Gupta, a Hindu Sena leader, called and complained the canteen at the state guest house was serving beef, said police. Gupta was moved to action after an associate, Prateesh Vishwanath, with the right wing fringe outfit, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, told him from Kerala that 'cow meat' was being used to prepare the beef dish at Kerala house. It's affordably priced cuisine draws a spectrum of luncheoners especially on Sundays.

The beef fry served ad Delhi's Kerala house always had an air of surreptitiousness about it. A regular patron told the Telegraph that of all the items displayed in the menu card of the Kerala House canteen, only the 'beef fry' was written in Malayalam. That in itself was unnecessary because those who visited for a lunch usually asked for it rather than discover it on the menu.

A post on the the Facebook page of Vishwanath, with a picture of the menu in the Kerala House canteen, said, “This is the board in delhi kerala house…openly selling beef…let us see (sic).” A Kerala House official told the Express, “Somebody has misled the police saying it was cow meat. So police came and spoke to the elected committee members who run the canteen. The members said they only served buffalo meat. The canteen buys the meat from NDMC authorised shops in Delhi.” Multiple reports now suggest that rankled by the police visit and the commotion, Kerala house wouldn't be serving its beef for a while.

NDTV reports the police as saying they responded immediately to prevent any "trouble" from the fringe group that was involved in an ink attack last week on Jammu and Kashmir lawmaker Engineer Rashid, over his beef party in Srinagar.

"We dealt with the matter with necessary alertness and took our position. The objective was to ensure that law and order is not disrupted," said Jatin Narwal, a senior police officer.

Calls to Resident Commissioner, Gyanesh Kumar, weren't returned. Kerala doesn't have a ban on cow slaughter and beef preparations are a staple of several Christian and Muslim cuisine in the state. In the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, the BJP has improved its vote share in the state from 6.4% in 2009 to 10.3% in 2014 even though it's still short of making a dent in the state's traditional Congress-Left dispensation.

The last few months have seen a massive controversy over the questions of cow slaughter, beef consumption and the uniquely-Indian debate of whether the meat of buffalo, water buffalo ought to be classified as 'beef.' Mohammed Aqhlaq a resident of Bisara village in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh was savagely killed by a mob last month because he'd allegedly stored beef in his refrigerator.

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