The owner of a popular Gurgaon restaurant that had on Friday night allegedly refused entry to a woman with a physical disability as it would “disturb other customers” today declined to comment further when asked to explain the management’s actions. Goumtesh Singh, Founder Partner at Raasta who had posted an apology on Twitter earlier in the day, said that the manager who was on duty had been let go but disconnected the call when put face to face with the woman. He claimed that he wasn’t aware he would be in a live interview and would like to speak to her personally and not on television. “I would just like to talk to her and would like to apologise to her,” he said and abruptly ended the call when questioned about the incident.
The woman, Srishti Pandey, offended by Mr Singh’s refusal to apologise publicly, said that this was the “most disrespectful thing” that has ever happened to her. “Where’s the apology? This was not an apology,” she added. Mr Singh had asked for Ms Pandey’s number during the live telecast saying he would like to speak to her “one on one” but disconnected the call when asked to address her publicly.
“This is what has been happening…we have been demanding a public apology and this is the response we have been getting,” she said. “This happened again right now, live, in front of everyone,” Ms Pandey added.
She said that she has been “victim blamed” and accused of lying about the incident. “I have been getting comments that I was being abusive, but this is what all of us have witnessed right now,” she said, pointing to Mr Singh’s reaction during the interview.
She had yesterday narrated the harrowing experience in a long Twitter thread that has since gone viral. She said that she visited the place with her best friend and her family on Friday in one of her first outings in a long time but was refused entry at the front desk.
I went to my @raastagurgaon with my best friend and her fam last night. This was one of my first outings in so long and I wanted to have fun. Bhaiya (my friend’s elder brother) asked for a table for four. The staff at the desk ignored him twice. 1/n
— Srishti (she/her???????) (@Srishhhh_tea) February 12, 2022
“This is something I have been facing for years and this is something my disabled friends have been facing. This is a systematic thing. This is not about one staff and one restaurant. This is not the first time that this happened to me but this is the first time that I spoke about it,” Ms Pandey said.
The restaurant, located in Gurgaon’s DLF Cyberhub, had earlier apologised for the incident and said that they were taking steps internally to “heighten sensitivity and empathy” for their staff.
— goumtesh Singh (@goumtesh) February 13, 2022
“We are deeply regretful of the episode that took place at rasta gurgaon on friday evening. We stand for inclusivity and would never want anyone to feel singled out for any reason. As a part of our efforts we have already reached out to the aggrieved patron to personally apologise to them. We are also taking steps internally to heighten sensitivity and empathy for our staff to ensure this never happens again,” Goumtesh Singh had said in a post.
However, Ms Pandey had called the apology “incomplete”, pointing out that it only came after the tweet went viral and the media played it up. “It doesn’t define what happened,” she said.
The Gurgaon police have reached out to Ms Pandey through a Twitter message and asked for her details to look into the case.