UP Police Officer's Flower Shower For Kanwar Pilgrims Sparks Outrage

 
UP Police Officer's Flower Shower For Kanwar Pilgrims Sparks Outrage

MEERUT: An Uttar Pradesh police officer decided to make use of his aerial survey to organize a 'rosy welcome' for kanwar pilgrims on Wednesday. A video being shared online shows Meerut's senior police officer Prashant Kumar, accompanied by Commissioner Chandra Prakash Tripathi, showering rose petals from a chopper to greet the pilgrims.

Prashant Kumar tweeted the video, then removed it after a backlash.

"No religious angle should be given to this, flowers are used to welcome people. Administration respects all religions and actively takes part, even in Gurupurab, Eid, Bakrid or Jain festivals," Prashant Kumar said today, defending his "flower welcome".

The UP police called it "soft" PR, social media users are not impressed by what they largely see as "waste of public money."

The officers were surveying security and traffic measures for the annual pilgrimage, during which thousands of kanwar pilgrims walk from their states to Uttarakhand, to fetch holy Ganga water.

"Frustrating to watch this nonsense", said one tweet. "Who is paying for this joy-ride," wondered another Twitter user commenting on the video.

The video comes a day after saffron-robed Kanwar pilgrims  wrecked and toppled a car in Delhi's Moti Nagar area, which had reportedly brushed past them. Around a dozen kanwarias were seen in the video smashing the windows of the car with sticks and then tipping it over as policemen and spectators watch without stopping them. The video drew massive criticism on social media with users questioning the law and order situation in the country.

For the Kanwar Yatra, extensive security measures are taken by the government and the police. The traffic on Delhi-Haridwar national highway is also diverted. Over the past few days, videos in circulation on social media have shown Kanwars in acts of hooliganism, unchecked by the police.