Vrindavan, 2017.01.02 (VT) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath waved the ceremonial green flag to inaugurate 12 tourist police squads that will patrol the most popular tourist destinations across UP. The police will have the use of cycles and motorbikes and have been trained to be helpful to tourists. As the police took off to do a round on their new bikes and cycles, there was loud applause and cheers from the crowds.
The ceremony was held in the vicinity of Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, the home electoral riding of CM Yogi. The CM is the Mahant (head priest) of Gorakhnath Temple, and his position there has helped him to unite Hindus across caste boundaries as the temple allows non-Brahmin priests. See Nath sect.
The tourist police force will have a strong presence in Braj. Mathura police will have its own tourist police squad, which will comprise around 10% of the Mathura police force. Mathura police currently has a few officers posted in the most crowded temples, but, under the new scheme, teams of 5 officers will be placed in 33 temples.
The new tourist police squads are comprised of new recruits who can converse in English and other foreign languages.The tourist police will include plain clothes officers who will be on the lookout for theft in temples, however, most of the officers will be in uniform and will be easily identifiable by a badge on their shoulder marking them as tourist police.
The design chosen for the Mathura tourist police squad attracted controversy recently because the proposed design prominently features a picture of Banke Bihari. While some claim that it is unconstitutional to use a symbol from one religion, most are of the opinion that the police have signed up to work in temples, so the badge design is fitting and is a powerful reminder of the squad’s responsibilities.