- Denied room because of being from different religions, says Kerala couple
- Hotel denies accusation, says they did not have proper ID
- CCTV footage shows couple arguing with with staff, then leaving
"They asked for IDs, said Divya is a Hindu name, you are Muslim, how can we give you a single room," Shafeek told NDTV.
The small hotel on a busy road in the heart of Bengaluru has revived a debate on religious prejudice faced in parts of India by those looking for a place to stay.
The couple had gone to Olive Residency for a room on Tuesday morning.
"When they saw that I was Muslim and my wife, Divya, was Hindu, they refused to give us a room. My wife is doing her PhD in law and tried to ask how they could refuse - but they did not listen," said Shafeek, who lives in Kozhikode.
In CCTV footage, the couple is seen trying to argue with the staff and then Shafeek leads his wife away.
They had to find another hotel.
"It is nothing to do with a Hindu-Muslim issue. The problem was that they had no proper id and had no luggage. They first asked for the room for just half an hour - and we became confused, that is why we refused to give a room," Mr Shivamadhu told NDTV.
According to him, the couple said they had come for an interview and would leave in half an hour. "Our cashier asked to see the interview letter, but they didn't show it. Religion factor is nothing. 60 to 70% of our regular guests are Muslim only," he said.
When we asked whether guests should have to produce an interview letter for a room, Mr Shivamadhu said, "They wanted a room for half an hour. So many problems are there in lodges and rooms, couples are coming, suicide attempts, that is the main reason why we cannot give."
Shafeek accused the hotel owner of trying to cover up blatant discrimination. "Initially they displayed no hesitation, showed their hotel and services," he said.
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