Rajasthan temple priest tried to stop encroachment, burnt to death
The victim was admitted to SMS Hospital in a critical condition and he succumbed to the injuries late Thursday.Updated: Oct 09, 2020, 19:10 IST
A 50-year-old temple priest died in a Jaipur hospital late Thursday evening from the burn injuries received after he was set afire in Karauli district over a land dispute on Wednesday, police said.
Babulal Vaishnav died during treatment for burns at Jaipur’s SMS Hospital. “We registered a case for attempt to murder against five people of the village; now the charge will be converted to that of murder,” Karauli superintendent of police Mridul Kachawa said. The priest gave a statement to police before death, he added.
On Wednesday, accused Kailash Meena and others from his family allegedly set the priest’s hut in Bukna village under Sapotra police station on fire since he had been trying to prevent encroachment on temple land. The injured priest was taken to district hospital from where doctors sent him to Jaipur.
Vaishnav was admitted to SMS Hospital in a critical condition and succumbed to his injuries late Thursday evening.Also Watch l Rajasthan temple priest burnt alive over land dispute; family holds protests
Police said three acres of land is under the temple’s ownership but Meena wanted to encroach some of it. A few days ago, the priest started constructing a house for himself on the land that Meena was eyeing. On Wednesday, the accused poured petrol over the hut and set it afire. The priest was caught in the fire before being rescued.
The SP said main accused Kailash Meena had been arrested and efforts to arrest others were on. He added that the priest had never informed the police about a dispute over land with Meena.
Vaishnav’s family brought the body to the village for cremation on Friday.
The video of the incident has gone viral on social media. In his dying testimony, the priest named six people for setting him on fire, the police said.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje attacked the state government for the incident on Twitter. Some other BJP leaders alleged that the law and order situation in the state was deteriorating under the Ashok Gehlot government.