Describing as ‘regrettable’ and ‘unfortunate’ the July 17 incident at Maharashtra Sadan here wherein some Shiv Sena MPs allegedly tried to force feed a staffer from the minority community during Ramzan fast, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the government was committed to safeguarding the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution to its citizens. In a statement in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Singh said,”I would like to inform the House through the chairman that the incident was regrettable and unfortunate. I would like to inform the House that our government is committed to safeguarding religious freedom granted by the Constitution to its citizens. ”I would like to appeal to all the Hon’ble members that we would all make constant efforts for maintaining religious harmony in our country.” Giving details of the incident, he said, ”According to a report received from the government of Maharashtra on July 17, at around 1130 hrs, a few members of Parliament from Maharashtra expressed their objection to the quality of food being served by the IRCTC at new Maharashtra Sadan. Thereafter, they demanded immediate discontinuation of IRCTC services there. ”It has also been informed that they entered the camp office and also the kitchen room of the Resident Commissioner at new Maharashtra Sadan and expressed their objection. Thereafter, they reportedly tried to feed a ‘chapati’ to Mr Arshad Zubair, Resident Manager of the IRCTC, while taking exception to the quality of food being served.” The Home minister said subsequently, the IRCTC terminated their contract with the Maharashtra Sadan by a letter dated July 18 for providing catering and IT services . It has been informed by the IRCTC that their decision is final and irreversible, he said. ”No complaint has been filed by Mr Arshad Zubair with the local police. The Resident Commissioner of the Maharashtra Sadan has apprised the office of the Chief Secretary Maharashtra of this matter. However, no complaint has been filed by him,” the Home Minister said.
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