A posh restaurant in an upscale mall in south Delhi has landed in a major controversy after it denied entry to a disability rights activist, allegedly saying that it doesn't "allow disabled people inside, as a policy".
Nipun Malhotra, the co-founder of the Nipman Foundation, alleged that the security at Keya restaurant stopped him when he arrived there with his brother around 9 pm on Friday to join eight other friends for dinner. On being asked why he was being refused entry, the security, Mr Malhotra alleged, said, "As a policy, we don't allow people on wheelchair". He also alleged that the security "started pulling" his wheelchair.
"I was shocked," Mr Malhotra told NDTV, adding that the manager later "tried to flip the argument by saying 'we do not allow stag entries'. I had to point out to him that if you don't allow stag entries, then how do I have eight friends inside out of which there are five boys and three girls?"
Denying the allegations, the restaurant, using the hashtag "KeyaClarifies", tweeted to Mr Malhotra on Friday saying it is a "disabled friendly restaurant", adding, "Today being Holi, we were denying stag entries, & you were part of a stag group that was turned away."
The incident has drawn widespread condemnation. The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Have ordered an enquiry into the matter of a differently abled youth being denied entry in an eatery. DM to submit report by Monday.- Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) March 7, 2015
Trinamool Congress leader and parliamentarian Derek O' Brien, in a tweet to Mr Malhotra, promised to raise the issue in Parliament.