Varanasi: Two priests die as banter turns violent

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Varanasi
  • Updated: Dec 12, 2014 02:12 IST

What started off as one-upmanship between two tirth purohits (priests) over who has more yajamans (clients) turned into an armed clash, resulting into the death of two and serious injury to another in Vindhyachal area of Mirzapur on Thursday. The deceased have been identified as Mritunjay Dwivedi, 32, and Shiv Shanker Giri, 32.

According to reports, Mritunjay was having breakfast at a shop at old VIP road in Vindhyachal when Gyanchand Pandey, who runs a cycle-stand and belongs to a family of priests, arrived there.

They soon began to banter about whose family had more yajaman, which then turned into a verbal duel and manhandling.

Gyanchand, who lives nearby, rushed home and returned with a gun. He fired a shot at Mritunjay’s neck and another at his chest, killing him on the spot.

Soon, another priest, Shiv Shanker Giri, reached the spot and tried to stop Gyanchand from firing. Gyanchand, however, in a fit of rage, opened fire on Giri, injuring him. Dhananjay Dwivedi, Mritunjay’s elder brother and a few of Gyanchand’s family members reached the spot and Dhananjay was injured in the ensuing clash.

All three — Mritunjay, Shiv Shanker and Dhananjay — were rushed to a nearby hospital where Mritunjay was declared brought dead, while Shiv Shanker died in the hospital. Doctors referred the seriously injured Dhananjay to Varanasi for further treatment.

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