People are free to celebrate any festival: UP Dy CM

ANI | Updated: Dec 19, 2017 19:25 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Dec 19 (ANI): Squashing the warnings issued by a Hindu outfit to schools in Aligarh against celebrating Christmas, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma has said that people are free to celebrate festivals of all religions.

Sharma told ANI that he is not aware of any such warnings, and said, "The government policy is clear on it. We believe in secularism and so does our Prime Minister who wants 'Sabka saath sabka vikas' (development for all). Our Chief Minister also follows the same ideals, so people are free to celebrate any festival. There is no constraint."

"Government has never interfered in this matter," he added.

The state government also has zero tolerance towards criminals, Sharma said, and assured that government works towards ensuring that "criminals have a fear of law and there is no tardiness on part of authorities when it comes to taking action against them."

Meanwhile, Rajesh Kumar Pandey Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Aligarh informed that a warning letter has been recovered from an unknown location but it has not yet been issued to any school.

"We made enquiries but the warning hasn't reached any of the schools yet. We did recover a letter from some other place," Pandey told ANI.

Describing the tenor of the letter, Pandey said, "The letter is written like an advisory but it instills fear among children, so we'll take strong actions that doesn't encourage them to repeat it in future."

Pandey told that the letter has been sent to the Joint Director Prosecution to assess what offences have been made therein.

"If offences are found, we will immediately file an FIR and initiate action,' the SSP added.

The police will also provide security to all schools and colleges, to ensure all are able to celebrate festivals without any hindrance or fear.

Yesterday, the Hindu Jagaran Manch warned schools in Aligarh against celebrating Christmas, on grounds that celebrating the festival "is a step towards religious conversion."

Sonu Savita, the 'mahanagar' president of the group sid, "We have directed the schools not to impose Christian celebrations on Hindu kids because these actions indirectly lead to religious conversion. These activities also affect the students' mental condition." (ANI)