Complaints of police misbehaving with devotees, sadhus, women, elders and media persons poured in on the second Shahi Snan in Ujjain during the Simhastha Kumbh on Monday.
At the press gallery in Ramghat, IPS officer Asit Yadav not only used derogatory language with deputy director (public relation) Pankaj Mittal but allegedly raised hand to slap him.
Department employees and journalists then staged sit-in in front of Ranoji Chatri on Ramghat where Sadhna Singh, wife of chief minister, was sitting on the first floor of the gallery. It was only after Yadav tendered an apology that employees and newsmen stopped their protest.
Niranjani Akhara secretary Mahant Ravindra Puri too faced the arrogance of police. After Puri expressed anger publicly, the Simhastha in-charge minister Bhupendra Singh and additional director General Madhu Kumar reached the spot and apologised to Puri.
Policemen did not allow pilgrims to move freely. For instance, road from Chamunda Square to Premchaya Marg was barricaded and police did not allow pedestrians to walk the stretch.
“I have been staying in a hotel near Mahakal Ghati but police didn’t allow me to go there and suggested that I wait for two hours,” said Kusum Agnihotri who came along with her mother from Raisen.
The Simhastha in-charge minister had assured that enough number of vehicles would be available but only a few were available.
Superintendent of police MS Verma admitted that reports of police high-handedness reached him. Fresh directions to maintain politeness while interacting with devotees have been given.
“People too sometimes unnecessarily argue with police and disturb the set arrangements,” Verma added.