Kerala: Abdul Shemim accused of serving food cooked in toilet water to Sabarimala pilgrims

A food stall managed by a man named Abdul Shemim at Erumeli has been accused of serving food cooked in toilet water to Sabarimala pilgrims during the peak season of pilgrimage. Notably, Erumeli lies along the routes leading to the revered Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

During inspection, it was found that the shop was using a hose from the adjacent toilet for water supply to make tea and lime juice. According to Republic TV, visuals of the incident showed that a blue-coloured hose was found connecting both the adjacent bathroom and the shop selling the liquids. The pipe was coming out from the grill of the toilet and it extended up to the shop.

(Image Source – Republic)

Initially, the shop owner claimed that the toilet water was used only for dishwashing and not for cooking purposes. However, recorded evidence showed otherwise. Subsequently, the Revenue Vigilance Squad and the Health Department registered a case against the accused Abdul Shehim.

The unsanitary practice was caught by Ayyappa Seva Sangh when it was conducting an inspection. The suspicion initially aroused about the eatery’s unhygienic practices when a foul smell started permeating the vicinity. Through inspection, the Ayyappa Seva Sangh revealed that the food stall was being managed by Abdul Shehim who also serves as the area secretary of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of CPIM. It was also revealed that the accused had been using toilet water for cooking for Lord Ayyappa devotees for approximately two weeks.

Subsequently, a combined inspection was conducted by the Revenue and Health department and a stop memo was issued to the shop. According to Erumeli Revenue Special Squad Charge Officer Deputy Tehsildar Biju G Nair, the investigation is ongoing, and further inspections have been planned in the coming days. He emphasised that accountability goes beyond the food stall owner and claimed that action will also be taken against the contractor who was responsible for allowing the hose connection from the toilet tap.

As per a Manorama Online report, an alert team from the revenue department apprehended a food stall vendor in the act of connecting a hose from the toilet pipe to obtain water for preparing food for Sabarimala pilgrims. The health department swiftly intervened, shutting down the temporary shop, and initiating legal actions against the license holder.

The shop was reportedly granted a temporary license to sell non-edible items, however, it was flouting that rule as well.

Republic TV reported that after repeated calls to the police, the officials maintained that no case had been filed. The report added that it didn’t lodge a case despite the fact that the police team was physically present at the site. The BJP local unit alleged that CPIM and Congress were trying to protect the shop owner and not filing a case.

It is important to note that the incident occurred during the peak season for the Sabarimala temple. The 41-day pilgrimage which is known as the mandala (season), scheduled for December and January is all set to begin.

Source : OpIndia

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