Mumbai: A city-based activist has sought cancellation of an ‘Iftar party’ organised by the Muslim wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is to be held in the Sahyadri guest house. The activist has demanded cancellation of the event since no ‘public or religious’ functions are allowed inside the Sahyadri guest house, which is meant only for ‘official use.’ The Rashtriya Muslim Manch (RMM), a wing of the RSS, has organised an iftar party for Muslims on Monday and the venue of the party is said to be the Sahyadri guest house.
Activist Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh has protested against such an ‘event’ inside the guest house, where the government itself has barred such public events. In his letter to the Governor of Maharashtra, Shaikh has demanded an inquiry against the officials of the government, who allowed the RMM to host the party.
The letter states, “The rules as framed by the government bar any activity other than official meetings and workshops from being held at the guest house; even these can only be hosted by the senior-most elected officials and bureaucrats.” “An iftar party is a religious event and the RMM as well as the RSS cannot technically book the guest house for such an event,” the letter states, citing a 2015 circular of the government.
It may be noted that the General Administration Department (GAD) and the Protocol Department, which is responsible for the guest house of the government, had in July 2015, issued a notification barring hosting of public events on the guest house premises. By this notification, both these departments had requested every department not to hold any (public) hearings at the guest house and follow the rules for holding meetings and workshops. The circular permits only the Chief Minister, his deputy and also the ministers and the ministers of state, apart from the Chief Secretary and his deputies, to hold meetings, workshops and press conferences on the guest house premises.