A photograph of a police officer in uniform kneeling down and getting blessings from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the occasion of Guru Purnima at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur has gone viral on the social media.
Adityanath is also ‘Peethadishwar’ and ‘Mahant’ (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Math.
Police officer’s stand
The police officer, Pravin Singh, however, came out with a clarification, saying, “I was deployed at the temple for security duty and I went there after completing my work with full dedication, when most of the disciples were seeking blessings. Out of my devotion and after removing my belt, cap and other accessories and covering my head with a handkerchief, I took the blessings of Peethadishwar Mahant Yogi Adityanath.”
He further said, “My shirt was wet with sweat and I had not ignored my work. Mahant Yogi sits in the position of a guru on two occasions in the temple — one at the time of Dussehra and other on Guru Purnima. I always pray at the temple for serving the country honestly and with dedication. It was just out of my devotion towards Baba Gorakhnath and nothing else.”
Singh is posted as Circle Officer, Gorakhnath in Gorakhpur.
IG, Civil Defence, Amitabh Thakur (IPS) said the police manual was not very clear on this count. “This is a grey area and can be interpreted either way. But a police officer needs to uphold the dignity of his uniform,” he pointed out. (PTI)