The two groups involved in an altercation inside the complex of the ancient Dudheshwar Nath Temple in Ghaziabad on February 14 have lodged FIRs against each other. The FIRs also name the temple’s coordinator, mahant Narayan Giri and mahant Yati Narsimhanand, the coordinator of the famous Dasna Devi temple, also in Ghaziabad.
According to the police, the FIRs were lodged under sections for rioting, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation. In the incident, men from two groups who had arrived for an event ended up clashing with each other. According to temple authorities, arms were also used to inflict injuries.
One of the FIRs names mahant Narsimhananad and five others while the other FIR mentions mahant Giri, two others and 20-25 unidentified persons, police said.
“They have named me in the FIR. They had planned to kill me. Some men used weapons and three rounds were also fired. I had gone there with just two persons who also sustained injuries while protecting me. I suspect that a senior police official had connived with the other group and wanted to get me,” said mahant Narsimhanand, claiming that the incident was a bid on his life.
“I am the mahant of 12 under-construction temples and people say the property is worth around Rs1,000 crore. I suspect that this could be one of the many reasons behind the incident. I was invited to the event and went with only two others. I want a fair investigation,” he added.
However, mahant Giri said his name was being unnecessarily dragged into the controversy.
“I have no role whatsoever in the incident. Even Yati Narsimhanand was sitting quietly and had no role. Why would anyone plan an attack inside a place of worship like a temple? It was a verbal altercation that led to the incident,” he said.
However, police said they would also add sections for violation of prohibitory orders that had been already promulgated and were in force till February 15.
“The case and IPC sections were lodged on the basis of complaints forwarded to us. We will check any videos or pictures related to allegations of firing during the incident. It will be a part of the investigation. However, had there been any firing, it should have been mentioned in complaints,” said Salmantaj Patil, officiating senior superintendent of police.
“Police is being accused as we pressed for action since the incident had assumed larger proportions. After the incident, they were trying to reach a compromise and end the matter. This is why police is being accused in the entire incident,” he added.