Two auto drivers arrested for 'planting' cockroach and insects in food at Bengaluru's Indira Canteen

Two months after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi inaugurated Indira Canteens in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government's pet project finds itself mired in a controversy even before it could open stalls in all 198 wards of the city. A video that has now gone viral purportedly shows a cockroach and an insect in the food served at one of the outlets in the city.

The video, which runs for around one-and-a-half minutes and shot at Kottigepalya Indira Canteen, shows a cockroach and insects among the food. "The food served is stale and unhygienic. A cockroach and insects were found in the food," one of the men in the video is heard saying, The Quint reported. "Instead of serving food with cockroaches and insects, it is better they close these canteens down," another man says.

Congress vice-president at the inauguration of Indira Canteen in Bengaluru. Twitter/@OfficeOfRG

Congress vice-president at the inauguration of Indira Canteens in Bengaluru. Twitter/@OfficeOfRG

But even before questioning the food caterers on the allegations, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) filed an FIR against four youth who are responsible for releasing the video, according to Deccan Chronicle.

Mayor Sampath Raj said, "Our officials filed a police complaint to know the truth and based on that an FIR was registered. We have shared the footage with the police officials," according to the report.

"According to me, the video is not genuine. People who cannot digest the success of Indira Canteens could have brought a cockroach and an insect and put them in the food, just to tarnish our good work."

Based on the complaint, the Kamakshipalya police have filed an FIR under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code for intentional insult to provoke breach of peace, among other sections, The Hindu reported.

On Monday, two autorickshaw drivers were arrested for allegedly dropping a cockroach in the food served the Indira Canteen stall in question, PTI reported.

Hemanth and Devaraj, along with two others went to have meals at Indira Canteen in Kamakshipalya on Friday, and created a ruckus when they ‘found’ a cockroach in the meals, police said, adding that they threatened people serving food and urged people not to eat there.

Police said the CCTV cameras installed inside the canteen purportedly showed Hemanth bringing the cockroach with him and putting it in the food. Devaraj reportedly knew this but supported Hemanth’s claim, police added.

Along with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, then mayor G Padmavathi, Karnataka pradesh Congress committee president G Parameshwara and other party leaders, Rahul inaugurated the canteens named after his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi on 16 August, 2017.

A hundred outlets were opened on the first day. In the initial phase of the launch, 101 canteens were set to serve vegetarian breakfast at Rs 5 per plate, and lunch and dinner at Rs 10 each in 101 civic wards.

"It is a historic day for Karnataka in our fight against hunger and malnutrition with Indira Canteens getting launched across Bengaluru", the chief minister had said.

Karnataka goes to polls in 2018.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 24, 2017 15:09 PM

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