Shamli Police twitter official handle posted a video of Superintendent of Police massaging the feet of a Kanwariya. The tweet was accompanied by a caption that says “Suraksha ke Saath Saath Seva Bhi” which means, not just protecting people but serving them too. The incident took place in Uttar Pradesh.

The tweet also announces a medical diagnostic camp for the Kanwariya yatris passing by the area. In the video SP Ajay Pandey was seen massaging the feet of an 18 year old Kanwariya which is a rare instance. The SP was seen asking the boy about his health and whereabouts.

When asked about his actions, SP Ajay Pandey said he did so since the man looked tired. Pandey reportedly said “Modern policing is way too broad and goes beyond just protecting citizens it also means to serve citizens.  We have to take a lot of roles from law and order to investigation it includes Compassion and humanity. Police should not maintain distance with public.”

“When police can help injured victims and give them first aid, Can’t a cop comfort a weak person? Imagine walking 200-300 kilometers without food and water. If they succumb to the weakness people accuse the police for not providing a protective approach for them,” Pandey added.

In a warm gesture, after the video was posted, the SP and the District Magistrate Akhilesh Kumar showered rose and marigold petals from the chopper they were travelling on Kanwar pilgrims to which the Kanwariya pilgrims danced and raised slogans in gratitude.

SP Pandey said the video was posted to send a message across that police are here to help. The PRO of the officer told that medical camps were set up equipped with instruments and medication required for the physiotherapy of the devotees and the SP chose to serve in his own way.

Kanwariyas are devotees of Lord Shive who embark on a Kanwar yatra, which is an annual pilgrimage to Hindu holy places of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultangunj in Bihar to fetch the holy waters of Ganga. They carry this holy water hundreds of miles and offer the holy water to Lord Shiva in their local Shiva shrines or some specific temples.

The Kanwariyas  embark on the annual ritual bare footed, wearing saffron robes and holding Kanwars  or wooden sticks used to hang the urns of water and walk for over hundred kilometers. The holy water they carry back to dispense in local Shiva shrines is a way of thanksgiving to them.

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