Complaints on social media that a cafe in the popular tourist resort of Kasol in Himachal Pradesh was refusing entry to Indians have prompted authorities to order an inquiry into the matter on Tuesday.
At least two posts on Facebook alleged that the man who runs Free Kasol cafe had refused to serve Indians and claimed that the establishment was open only to members. The cafe is mostly frequented by Israeli tourists who visit Kasol in large numbers throughout the year.
Stefan Kaye, a British musician based in Delhi, wrote on Facebook he was given a menu when he visited the cafe on Sunday while his companion, an Indian woman, was not served because of her nationality. When Kaye accused the cafe’s owner of blatant discrimination, he responded that he could do whatever he wanted at his establishment.
Another post on Facebook said the cafe was set up by “some Israelis” who were denying entry to Indians.
The administration of Kullu district initiated an immediate inquiry into the matter on Tuesday after learning of the complaints on social media.
Kullu’s deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar said he had directed the district’s superintendent of police to look into the matter even though there was no written or formal complaint.
Superintendent of police Padam Chand said police officials had gone to the area to find out details of the alleged discrimination against Indians.
A preliminary investigation had revealed land was leased by the tourism department for the cafe but it was not meant for commercial use by foreigners.
Officials of the tourism department had also been asked to ascertain if the lease was legal and if the land had been sublet to foreigners, he added.