Many on social media called for shutdown and boycott of the restaurants for providing meals to Rohingya refugees
Three restaurants in Delhi were trolled and threatened on social media for distributing food to Rohingya refugees. The controversy erupted after Indian news agency ANI reported the matter on Twitter.
Owners of these restaurants were photographed distributing food among Rohingya refugees at a slum in Delhi's Jasola area on the occasion of Navratri (Hindu festival) earlier this week, reports India Today.
"Food doesn't have any religion. It's for everyone. That is the reason why we're giving it to those in need, "the owners of one of the restaurants had told ANI. He went on to say, "People bless us the same way they would, members of their own community."
Proprietors of The Marketplace, Josh- The High Energy Bar and Swagath Restro Bar, however, had to face trolling on social media for distributing food among Rohingya refugees.
One Twitter user responded to the humanitarian gesture by saying, "Food doesn't have any religion & should be made available for everyone. But it should not end up feeding own enemies who would not hesitate to cut the throat after eating the food provided. Better to be alert & vigilant, even in charity."
This was followed by a flood of negative reviews for the three restaurants on various online food aggregators.
Shivam Sehgal (25), owner of Josh- The High Energy Bar and The Marketplace, told the Quint, "I started getting calls on the restaurant phone number asking me why I decided to give food to illegal immigrants. I tried to reason with each of them. Soon, they started rating us negatively in Zomato."
Responding to a question about whether he would take part in a similar initiative in the future, Sehgal told the Quint, "I definitely will do this again because I genuinely feel about the cause of giving to the needy."
According to Human Rights Watch, Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims are among the most persecuted communities in the world.
Latest estimates of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) dated January 2019 suggests that there are about 18,000 Rohingya refugees who have registered with the UN Refugee Agency in India.