An Indian Police Service officer on Friday found himself in the thick of controversy after he reached Sangam in his car despite the high court ruling that no vehicles other than those of police and ambulances be allowed to ply in the Kumbh Mela area on main bathing days.
Deputy Inspector General of police of Lucknow Navneet Sikera, who drove from Lucknow to take a dip at the Sangam on 'Basant Panchmi' in Allahabad, was caught on camera.
Sikera tried to cover his face with a towel while returning to his car after taking a holy dip as cameramen frantically began taking his pictures and reporters chased him with questions as to why he was travelling in a vehicle with VIP light despite not being on duty.
Miffed over the persistent queries, Sikera told reporters "I am not aware of the high court directions but if it is felt I have done something wrong I propose to go out of the Kumbh area on foot".
Reacting to the episode, Uttar Pradesh minister and in-charge of the Kumbh Mela Azam Khan told mediapersons in Rampur, "It is unfortunate that people who are well-educated and well-informed commit mistakes like these and then say they are not even aware of restrictions".
He claimed, "I had earlier received reports about the director general of the Border Security Force reaching the VIP ghat in his vehicle though the ghat should have been made available to general public on a bathing festival. I had planned to send a complaint about the matter to the prime minister.
"But now I am embarrassed to see our own DIG committing the same mistake. I have spoken to the chief minister who has taken a strong note of the matter".
The Allahabad high court on Thursday passed an order that no vehicles other than ambulances and those carrying police officials on duty be allowed inside the Kumbh area on main bathing festivals.