NEW DELHI: Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi today faced some tough questions from Parliamentarians over a Delhi Police "raid" on Kerala House canteen for allegedly serving beef.
The Home Secretary assured the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home that he would get back with a detailed statement.
The Parliamentary panel, which met here to discuss the issue of 'communal and social harmony', also asked Mehrishi about the number of communal incidents which have taken place in the recent past.
He was also asked to explain how the government defines a 'major' or a 'minor' communal incident.
"We asked the Home Secretary how the Delhi Police could take such a step like raiding the canteen of Kerala House over allegations that beef was being sold there. He assured the Committee to get back with a detailed statement," a member present in the meeting told PTI.
The Home Secretary was also quizzed about attacks on Dalits in various parts of the country. Members pointed out that while victims of communal riots are paid compensation, no such practice followed by the Centre for dalits.
Controversy had erupted over Delhi police personnel entering Kerala House on October 26 following a complaint that cow meat was being served there.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal had condemned the "raid". Though Kerala House said cow meat was never on its menu, it stopped serving even buffalo meat for a couple of days.
Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi had claimed the canteen was not raided and that the police were merely taking "preventive measures" based on a PCR call. The incident had come close on the heels of lynching of a Muslim man at Bishada village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he and his family had eaten and store beef.
Police had detained Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta forallegedly making a false complaint about beef being served at Kerala House.
"Parliament did not run but the Standing Comtee(Committee) on Home Affairs had a purposive two-hour meeting. Should these be televised ? just asking," panel member and TMC MP Derek O'Brien tweeted later.
Last month, the top MHA official had faced criticism from MPs for his absence from the meeting of the committee.