On the occasion of Guru Purnima, Pravin Singh knelt down at Adityanath’s feet, who is also ‘Peethadishwar’ and ‘Mahant’ (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Math “out of devotion
After removing his belt, cap and other accessories, he put a handkerchief on his head and sought blessings of the head priest.
With the officer’s act triggering a debate on social media, Singh clarified his stand. “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.
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,” he explained.
Commenting on the Singh’s action, IG, Civil Defence, Amitabh Thakur (IPS) said the police manual is 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,” Thakur pointed out.