BAREILLY: A Muslim Uttar Pradesh Police official on Monday offered prayers at a Shiva temple, continuing a decades-old tradition where the local police begins the prayers.
As per the tradition, Javed Khan, 40, who is Station House Officer of Bhamora police station in Bareilly district, offered prayers and water to the Shiva idol placed in the temple before all the devotees.
The rituals were initially supposed to be performed by Aonla circle officer. But after he failed to turn up, Khan initiated to do the rituals.
Pandit Ashok Sharma, the temple priest, said: "I was hesitant initially in asking Khan to perform the rituals because his religion does not allow him to do so. However, it came as a pleasant surprise when he himself approached us to offer prayer at the temple. We were all very happy because Lord Shiva accepts the prayer offered from true heart. I am glad to have witnessed a perfect example of communal harmony."
Khan told reporters that performing police duty is above all the religion for him and at that moment and he was "following what the SHO does as per tradition".
Assistant Superintendent of Police (crime) Ramesh Kumar Bhartiya said: "Bhamora is considered a communally sensitive police station but Javed Khan has been exceptionally good in handling the situation since he joined. Now, he has displayed a perfect example of being a professional policeman for whom duty comes first.