Policemen at Kashi Vishwanath Dham to wear dhotis

Varanasi: The policemen deployed at the Kashi Vishwanath Dham complex in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi will now wear dhoti-kurta to present a devotee-friendly image.

An experiment in this regard was held in 2018 also.

According to temple officials, the male officers will wear dhoti and a dupatta (shawl) to resemble priests, while female officers will wear salwar kurta.

Before deployment, these officers will undergo a three-day training programme to hone their soft-skill communication with devotees.

The move is designed to improve the devotee experience and avoid negative perceptions associated with police uniforms.

In addition to the new attire, a “no touch” policy will be implemented for crowd control.

Commissioner of Police, Mohit Agrawal, said that devotees often felt disrespected by the way the police handled crowds.

He noted that devotees were more accepting of similar actions from temple priests.

“A major issue arises when devotees are made to wait in long queues for darshan. This delays their darshan (prayer offering) and frustrates others waiting in line. To address the situation and create a friendlier police image, authorities have opted for a “khaki-free” inner sanctum,” he said.

Agrawal added that they are also finding ways to improve the image of police involved in crowd control and ensure a pleasant visitor experience.

Officers will not physically move devotees or disrupt queues when creating a passage for VIP movements. Instead, they will use ropes to guide devotees in other directions without any physical contact, he said.

While crowds were lower in 2018 compared to the past two years after the Kashi Vishwanath Dham’s renovation, complaints regarding forceful removal from the sanctum sanctorum or its doors by police officers have emerged.


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