Temple priest, wife beaten up in Uttarakhand for opposing stone pelters
One of the four attackers, Shabir Shah, hailing from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested after he was caught by locals.dehradun Updated: Jul 23, 2018 00:07 IST
A temple priest and his wife were beaten up by four people in Sitarganj area of Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand on Saturday night after the couple objected to their pelting of stones on the local temple.
One of the four attackers, Shabir Shah, hailing from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested after he was caught by locals.
The priest Banwari Lal and his wife Anokhi Devi, who live near the temple, had objected to the four men throwing stones at the temple in Chintimajra area of Sitarganj around 11 pm on Saturday, Sanjay Kumar, in-charge of Sitarganj police station, said.
Enraged by their resistance, the four started beating the couple who shouted for help. Some neighbours came out and chased the attackers and caught one of them while the others escaped, Kumar said.
The couple was rushed to hospital and discharged after treatment.
The incident sparked tension in the area, with locals approaching the police and demanding the arrest of the other attackers at the earliest and strict action against them.
Shah has been booked under IPC sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).
“Search is on for the rest of the three persons,” Kumar said, adding that they would be arrested soon.
He said police were keeping a strict vigil in the area and has brought the situation under control.
In October 2011, Udham Singh district’s Rudrapur town, nearly 40 km from Sitarganj town, had witnessed major communal riots, in which three men had died and scores of people were injured, prompting the authorities to impose curfew.
The communal tension flared up after a man spotted a torn religious book outside his house in Bhadiapura area of Rudrapur. The district has a significant Muslim population. According to Census 2011, Hindus constitute 66.98% of the district’s population, while Muslims form nearly 22.5% . In Sitarganj town, the Muslim population is around 43.5%.