Ayodhya's Hanuman Garhi chief priest gets into argument with DM, loses police gunner: Report | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Ayodhya's Hanuman Garhi chief priest gets into argument with DM, loses police gunner: Report

By, New Delhi
Jun 23, 2024 08:30 AM IST

Ayodhya DM Nitish Kumar, however, maintained that the security cover of Mahant Raju Das was withdrawn as the latter had been ‘misusing’ the gunners.

An argument between Mahant Raju Das, head priest of Ayodhya's Hanuman Garhi temple, and District Magistrate (DM) Nitish Kumar on Friday night, led to the removal of the former's police security gunner.

Hanumangarhi temple priest Mahant Raju Das (File/ANI)
Hanumangarhi temple priest Mahant Raju Das (File/ANI)

According to The Indian Express, heated exchange took place in front of Uttar Pradesh ministers Surya Pratap Shahi and Jaiveer Singh, tasked by the ruling BJP to find out the reasons behind the party's shock defeat in the Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency, under which Ayodhya falls, in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

On Saturday, the priest said he asserted at the meeting that the Ayodhya district administration was ‘equally at fault’ over the BJP's loss, and party workers alone should not be held responsible for the defeat of Lallu Singh, the saffron party's two-term parliamentarian from the seat, against Samajwadi Party's Awadhesh Prasad.

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“It was around 11 pm when I had an argument with the DM, who, along with the SSP, left the meeting immediately. I stepped out after two minutes, only to find that the police gunner for my security was no longer there. I was informed that the gunner had been called back immediately,” Mahant Das told the Indian Express.

He further stated that he will not write to any senior authority in this regard, and alleged that saints were being ‘humiliated’ in the 'government of saints.'

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also serves as the chief priest of the Gorakhnath Math.

On how the Ayodhya district was responsible for the BJP's loss, Mahant Raju Das claimed that just before the elections, the administration served notices to people, directing them to vacate their properties for redevelopment works, and this led to ‘anger’ against the BJP.

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The DM, on his part, maintained that the Hanuman Garhi head priest had been ‘misusing’ the gunners by ‘threatening’ people.

"He was given security on his request that he faces a life threat. Also, a process was already underway to remove his three gunners ever since we learnt that three criminal cases were lodged against Raju Das in 2013, 2017, and 2023. Two of the gunners had been withdrawn and the third has been withdrawn now,” DM Nitish Kumar said.

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