According to villagers of Teldiha, the priest used to recite Durga Saptasati in the temple every day. On Sunday also he reached the shrine, recited the verses from the holy book, before pulling out a sharp-edged weapon kept there for performing animal sacrifice. He then rushed to the altar on the temple premises with the weapon and cut his throat, the villagers added. When his brother Gobind Jha reached there, he found Gopal lying in a pool of blood.
Shambhuganj sub-divisional officer (SDO) Wakil Manjhi has confirmed the incident. Manjhi said the Jha brothers had been serving the temple for many years.
He said Gopal Jha had been mentally ill for quite some time, but he was performing his daily chores like any other normal person.“Some villagers have told me that Gopal Jha was also in touch with a person practicing sorcery. We are verifying if Gopal Jha’s links with the sorcerer had motivated him to perform the self-sacrifice,” the SDO said, adding a case of unnatural death had been registered.