While the nation and its capital, Delhi face a major oxygen shortage crisis, amidst the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, the Delhi Police made a shocking revelation on Friday. It declared that it recovered as many as 96 oxygen concentrators from Khan Market’s popular restaurant Khan Chacha.
Atul Bhatia, DCP South Delhi, said, “We have recovered 96 oxygen concentrators from Khan Chacha Restaurant in Khan Market area.” The recovery came one day after the Delhi Police arrested four people and seized 419 oxygen concentrators, following raids at Nege Ju Restaurant and Bar in the central market of Lodhi Colony. The owner of the two restaurants is Navneet Kalra, whose whereabouts remain unknown.
Delhi Police even tweeted, “With further seizure of 105 #OxygenConcentrator from Khan Chacha & Town Hall, 2 upscale restaurants in Khan Mkt, total 524 seized frm #blackmarketers Owner Navneet Kalra, also owns Dayal Opticals, is on run. Manager, 3 staffers arrested by #DelhiPolice SouthDist. Further raids on.”
With further seizure of 105 #OxygenConcentrator from Khan Chacha & Town Hall, 2 upscale restaurants in Khan Mkt, total 524 seized frm #blackmarketers Owner Navneet Kalra, also owns Dayal Opticals, is on run. Manager, 3 staffers arrested by #DelhiPolice SouthDist. Further raids on https://t.co/axlGhatoa8 pic.twitter.com/fE9E9oF3rM
— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) May 7, 2021
So, who is Navneet Kalra? Presently, he is in the spotlight due to the oxygen concentrator seizures at his restaurants and allegations of black marketing oxygen. But he did make it to newspapers earlier also, albeit in a very different form.
Navneet Kalra is a rich businessman. He owns upscale restaurants- Town Hall, Mr Choy, Nege and Ju, and Khan Chacha, in posh Delhi localities. In fact, Kalra leads a flamboyant lifestyle with celebrities and was till now, popular as a Page-3 socialite.
Media reports claim that a quick look at Navneet Kalra’s social media reveal a lavish lifestyle, showing his successful business and featuring a series of photos of celebrities and politicians visiting his restaurants. As a matter of fact, even the Gandhi family had visited Kalra’s Town Hall Restaurant several times. The Khan Chacha restaurant in Khan Market locality is particularly popular in Delhi. Located right inside Lutyens’ Delhi, the place is frequented by politicians, film celebrities and sports personalities.
According to Print Magazine, Gandhis are frequent visitors at TownHall , Khan Market
Gandhis love to eat Sushi there
Town Hall is owned by Navneet Kalrahttps://t.co/sxslaEYXs9#TownHall #navneetkalra #OxygenConcentrator pic.twitter.com/SStzkpkhSg
— Girish (Headhunter) (@girishs2) May 7, 2021
Are @ArvindKejriwal and @raghav_chadha trying to save @navneetkalra owner of #Khanchacha at #khanmarket? #navneetkalra allegedly financed by present and ex cricketers. @PMOIndia @DCPSouthDelhi @AmitShah
Please investigate. pic.twitter.com/0jnP08ZFvY
— नाराज़ Indian (@Gah_lib) May 7, 2021
Yet, presently, news reports about Navneet Kalra are not likely to feature on Page 3 or the celebrities section. On Monday, Delhi Police said that it has got a look out circular (LoC) issued against Kalra. Also, a Delhi Court refused to grant any interim relief to the ‘Khan Chacha’ owner on Monday and said that the matter will be heard on Tuesday.
Kalra, who was known as a Page 3 celebrity till only very recently, is thus suddenly in the limelight over serious allegations regarding black marketing of oxygen concentrators, at a time when there is already a lot of public anger about the oxygen shortage crisis and its severe consequences. However, the celebrity turned oxygen black marketer is now on a run and must be brought to justice soon.