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Watch | Indian Railways passenger disputes tea served on board that is certified halal


A video showing a man having a heated exchange with a railways official, over halal-certified tea has recently gone viral on Indian social media. The footage shows the man arguing about the need for such a certification. He expressed concerns over the halal certification during the month of 'Sawan' where most Hindus do not eat non-vegetarian food items. 

"It is the month of Sawan and you are serving us halal tea. What is written here? Halal certified. What is it?" the man be heard saying, aboard the Vande Bharat Express train. 

Upon hearing the passenger's argument, the railway official tells him that the tea packet is a premix and that the ingredients in the packet are completely vegetarian, pointing towards the mandatory "Green Dot" identification mark. 

ट्रैन या फ्लाइट में हलाल सर्टिफाइड खानपान के सामान का विरोध करे। Shocking as always
Halal certified Chai packet in Trains & flights..
This kattar Hindu strongly protested..

This is Major issue which should be solved ..
Either have separate packing..
All companies .. pic.twitter.com/MLIhTlzUXu

— AstroCounselKK🇮🇳 (@AstroCounselKK) July 19, 2023

Railways issues clarification 

VIDEO: Why this passenger got angered over being served "halal-certified" masala tea on a train
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After the controversy snowballed, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) also released a statement, clarifying that the tea packet was indeed vegetarian. 

"Some sections in media have reported that some export quality tea is being served by IRCTC which has many certificates like FSSAI, ISO, GMP, FDA, Hallal, etc. But it is being highlighted by some media sections as it is only halal certified," the railways said in a statement.

"The Ministry of Railways clarifies and reassures passengers that the product used is of international standards and hence, the manufacturer ensures all compliances, both domestic and the targeted countries for export purposes," the statement said.

"The mentioned brand premix tea has the mandatory FSSAI Certification. The product is 100% vegetarian with a mandatory "Green Dot" indication. As per the manufacturer, the product is exported to other countries which mandate such certification. Halal certificate is ...not indicative of it being vegetarian or non-vegetarian," IRCTC said in response to a netizen's tweet. 

The company, Chaizup, which manufactured the tea premix also reiterated that their products were 100 per cent vegetarian and halal certification was only used for international export compliance.

Watch | How bad is red meat for you?

Notably, halal refers to items prepared in accordance with Islamic law. In general terms, it refers to a specific method of slaughtering animals for halal meat. While initially only used for meat, the certification has expanded to other food items, cosmetics and medicines over the years. 

In India, there has been clamour over halal certification with a petitioner filing a complaint in front of the Supreme Court in 2022, requesting a complete ban, citing concerns regarding the fundamental rights of the majority Hindu population. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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