LUCKNOW: The photograph of a police officer seeking blessings from UP CM Yogi Adityanath on the occasion of Guru Purnima in Gorakhnath temple on Friday went viral on social media only to trigger a debate if it was proper for the cop in uniform to do so.
The officer in question was Praveen Kumar Singh, CO, Gorakhnath area, Gorakhpur, with many police stations of the area under his charge.
Notably, the cop himself posted his photograph with the CM on FaceBook, applying tilak on his forehead, garlanding him and touching his feet to seek his blessings as his 'guru' (guide). He had captioned his pictures-Feeling blessed.
The cop had written in his post that he was seeking blessings of Yogi Adityanath on the occasion of Guru Poornima, not as the chief minister but as the 'Muthhadheeshwar' (Head Priest) of Gorakhnath temple.
CM Yogi is also Peethadishwar and Mahant of Gorakhnath Muth. However, following a commotion on the pictures, the police officer deleted his post and deactivated his FB account.
In fact, the CO could be seen in the pictures in uniform with a handkerchief on his head kneeling down in front of Yogi Adityanath who is sitting on the seat of 'peethhadheeshwar.'
The cop was one among a large number of other disciples who were taking Yogi's blessings on the occasion. While his pictures created a flutter and he was asked about it, the police officer claimed that he was part of the security contingent on temple premises on Guru Purnima.
"After finishing my duty, I also wanted to take his blessings as my 'Guru' out of my astha (faith) like any other disciple of Maharaj ji," said CO Praveen Singh.
He added: "So I took off my belt, cap and other accessories related to my profession, covered my head with my handkerchief and took his blessings as Peethadishwar Mahant Yogi Adityanath in a typically traditional way."
"My shirt was wet with sweat and I did not lack anywhere in doing my duty. It was a rare occasion as Mahant Yogi Adityanath ji sits in the position of 'guru' at Gorakhnath temple at only two occasions -- Dussehra and Guru Purnima," said Singh adding that he was a devotee of temple and it was his sheer devotion and faith which led him to seek 'Maharaj ji's' blessings.