Expressing distress at the news of a restaurant in Connaught Place allegedly denying service to street children, Deputy Chief Minister in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government Manish Sisodia on Sunday asserted that the restaurant’s license would be revoked and firm action initiated if all the allegations are proven.
“The woman is saying that she wanted to celebrate her husband’s birthday by spending time with the street children and feeding them. She was made to wait for two hours and was not served food and was thrown out later, this is very inhumane,” Sisodia said.
“I have called on the DM to give me a report in 24 hours and if all the allegations are proved to be true and is found on record, then we will revoke the license of the restaurant and will take action under various sections,” he added.
Asserting the Constitution talks about right to equality, Sisodia said that every citizen, no matter their clothes, caste and background, was equal, adding that as long as the restaurant is being paid, they do not have the right to deny service to a customer.
“If someone gets drunk or gets involved in a brawl and then makes noise, then you can toss them out. But it’s ridiculous that you don’t serve a person because he is poor. These people are the very same who go to temples and feed the poor kids there, but won’t do the same in their own restaurant,” Sisodia said.
The woman Sonali, who has lodged the case against the Shiv Sagar restaurant, earlier said that the restaurateurs’ told her and the children to vacate the premises immediately as it is their right to serve whomever they want.
“They clearly told us to get and also threatened to shoot me if I don’t clear out from the premises. The owner discriminated with kids and refused service citing that kids aren’t well dressed and are look dirty. Nevertheless, I came back and sat down in front of the restaurant in protest. Even the police did not support us,” she told ANI.
However, the restaurant has flatly refused the charges, saying they had permitted the children to enter but refused service later as they were creating a ruckus inside and disturbing the other customers.
“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.
Sonali has said that she would return to the restaurant today with more street children to carry on with her protest and sit outside its door at 4 p.m.