Lucknow: Photographs of a senior official of Uttar Pradesh Police kneeling before chief minister Yogi Adityanath have gone viral, stoking a new controversy.
The police officer, identified as Praveen Kumar Singh, shared the photographs on his Facebook profile with caption “feeling blessed”. Singh is Circle Officer of Gorakhnath area in Gorakhpur and has many police stations of the area under his charge. In one of the pictures, he is seen garlanding the chief minister and seeking blessings. He can also be seen applying ‘tilak’ on the chief minister.
The police officer had written that he was seeking blessings of Yogi Adityanath on the occasion of Guru Poornima, not in the latter’s capacity as a chief minister but as the priest of Gorakhnath temple. Yogi Adityanath is the chief priest of Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur.
"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 blessings of Peethadishwar Mahant Yogi Adityanath," Singh said
The police officer’s act has stirred a debate whether or not it was right to do so in his uniform.
After the pictures went viral, Praveen Kumar Singh deleted the pictures and eventually deactivated his Facebook account.
Recently, a Delhi Police officer was transferred after photographs of him seeking ‘blessings’ from a self-styled godwoman went viral.