[Petition] Demand Action Against Shiv Sena MPs who Force-Fed a Fasting Muslim Staffer
Several media channels have highlighted the atrocious incident at Maharashtra Sadan on 23 July 2014, where 11 Shiv Sena Members of Parliament (MPs) force-fed a Muslim staffer who was observing the fast of Ramadan.
The MPs were allegedly protesting the substandard quality of food in Maharashtra Sadan. Arvind Sawant, the Shiv Sena MP from South-Mumbai has even gone on record to say “The incident of stuffing the chappati is a form of the protest ‘You eat what you give us.’ The so called chef, hired by the contractors, is now taking shield of his religion to save his job and draw sympathy. Shameful that some media supports bad food. Isn’t giving someone good food the biggest religion?”
There are two very disturbing factors about this incident. The first is that the MPs’ behaviour not only offends religious sensibility, but shows complete disregard for human dignity. Whether the staffer was a Muslim or not does not justify the action of shoving food down his throat to ‘prove a point.’ It is a brazen misuse of power.
Secondly, no concrete action has been taken against the concerned individuals.When the issue was raised in Parliament, Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete even dismissed the allegations as false. The good news is that civil society is starting to demand formal action against the MPs. A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court to seek the members’ disqualifications, while a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Ranjan Vichare in Delhi’s Tilak Marg Police Station, for the following offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC): 153A (promoting enmity), 295A (deliberate act to insult religious belief) and 298 (intent to wound religious feelings).
To ensure that swift action is taken against these lawmakers, I urge you to join me in petitioning the Delhi Police Commissioner. Let’s take a stand against such injustices and violence in our society, and for once not let our lawmakers remain above the law.