Lucknow, Aug 10: In a shocking news, The Uttar Pradesh Government had sanctioned nearly Rs 14 lakhs to the Police Department to hire helicopters for two days to conduct surveillance on Kanwar and flower shower.
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.
The Uttar Pradesh Government had sanctioned nearly Rs 14 lakhs to the Police Department to hire helicopters for two days to conduct surveillance and flower shower.
According to a home department letter dated August 5 the chopper were meant to be hired for "keeping an alert vision and effective surveillance" in Meerut and adjoining districts from August 7 to August 9.
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.