Following the news that a prominent restaurant in New Delhi allegedly denied entry to underprivileged children who were accompanied by a woman, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
"If allegations are found true, Delhi government will cancel licence of the restaurant," he told PTI.
This is typical Colonial mindset. Can't be tolerated. Have ordered DM New Delhi to enquire & report within 24 hours. https://t.co/ifixugxPRD— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) June 12, 2016
Sonali Shetty, a writer, had taken some street children for lunch to a restaurant in Connaught Place to celebrate her husband's birthday on Saturday. But, they were allegedly denied service by the staff at the eatery.
"I had taken eight underprivileged children for lunch to Shiv Sagar restaurant but the staff there did not serve us. I was also ridiculed and threatened to keep off the restaurant," Shetty said.
Had brought few street children along to restaurant to celebrate my husband's birthday bt owner misbehaved with kids-Sonali Shetty,Protester— ANI (@ANI_news) June 11, 2016
She also said that she protested outside the eatery for over 10 hours, but nothing happened. She felt that the whole incident reflected society's "failure".
Shetty also alleged that the policemen who had come to the restaurant on her call, did not help and instead "reprimanded" her and asked her to take the children to some other place.
The owner discriminated with kids & refused service citing that kids aren't well dressed & look dirty: Sonali Shetty pic.twitter.com/qbwaNgb5ii— ANI (@ANI_news) June 11, 2016
"We do not discriminate against anybody. We give service to everyone. But if someone enters the restaurant and behaves aggressively then we can't give service. This is exactly what happened yesterday.she was very aggressive. She wanted free food and we denied it," Vihur Kanodia, owner of the restaurant told ANI.
"When we denied giving her free food, she said she was ready to pay. She came in the restaurant and you can see how her behaviour changed in 15-30 minutes. She was in the restaurant for more than an hour. My statement is we never discriminate and we serve food to everyone. We don't want anyone to create a scene in the restaurant," he added.
(Sonali Shetty sat outside the floor of the restaurant, to protest against their staff's behaviour)
However, an employee at the restaurant told ANI that she had "denied service" to the group, as they were creating "commotion" and disturbing other patrons.
"It is completely untrue that we denied entry to the children, as we have it on record that we allowed them to sit inside. We also never said that we won't provide service to the children. But then the kids were making a lot of noise, tossing things around and creating a commotion. As a restaurateur, I have the right to deny service to someone who disturbs other customers," Roma Malhotra, an employee of the restaurant, said.
Abhishek Singh, District Magistrate, New Delhi, told The Indian Express that the CCTV footage of the restaurant was examined and it showed that the children were sitting at the table for about an 1.5 hours without service.
“We need to record the statements of some independent witnesses. Until then, it will be the word of one person against another,” he told IE.
(With agency inputs)