JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Police has directed all district police heads to ensure strict compliance to the law that restricts the construction of places of worship on police premises, inviting strong BJP criticism which termed the Congress government "anti-Hindu" and demanded the order be withdrawn.
The order was issued Monday by Additional Director General of Police (Police Housing) A Ponnuchami who has said that under the Rajasthan Religious Buildings and Places Act 1954, there can be no religious place in a public building.
He has said that all the superintendents of police in the state have been asked to ensure compliance to this Act.
Reacting to the order, the BJP said it has exposed the "anti-Hindu" face of the Congress government.
"The state government should immediately withdraw this unjustified order. Traditionally, places of worship have been established in police stations even before independence and they are also worshiped. This maintains a pleasant and spiritual atmosphere in the police stations," BJP state president Satish Poonia said in a statement.
Party MP Kirodi Lal Meena termed the Congress government "anti-Hindu" and demanded the directive be withdrawn.
Meena said the police are wasting their time and energy on issuing such an "illogical order" rather than managing the "deteriorating" law and order situation.
In the order, Ponnuchami has said that in the past years, there has been an "increase" in the trend of construction of places of worship in various types of office complexes/police stations of the police department in the name of faith, which is not legal.
The Rajasthan Religious Buildings and Places Act 1954 prohibits religious use of public places, the order said.
Also, there is no provision for the construction of a place of worship in the map prepared and approved for the construction of administrative buildings of police stations, the order said.
It went on to direct police officers/employees and other unit in-charges to ensure the act is strictly followed.