RSS man stabbed Rajasthan religious leader 35 times over land dispute, say police
The post-mortem report into the killing of Swami Avdheshanand in Sirohi says that the seer was “stabbed 35 times”, police said Tuesday. The district pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was arrested in the case on Sunday.
Avdheshanand was the patron of Ekal Vidyalay (schools associated with the nationalist group Vishva Hindu Parishad) in Sirohi district and was murdered at the district headquarters of the RSS on November 11.
The police arrested Uttam Giri, the then zila pracharak of the Sangh, on Sunday around 11.30pm. On Tuesday, he was produced before a local court, which sent him to juridical custody.
Speaking to HT, Sirohi circle officer Vikram Singh said the accused had first spoken of “ideological differences” with Avdheshanand but both also had a dispute over a piece of land. “Avdeshanand had four bighas of land over which he wanted to construct a school. He had asked Giri to raise some funds because of the position he held in the RSS and exercised influence over the local business groups,” the officer said.
Police said Giri had initially refused to help saying he neither had the money nor could he arrange it. “On the evening of November 11, Avdheshanand went to meet Giri. The conversation between the two turned violent after Giri lost his cool and stabbed him with a push button knife,” the officer said.
“According to the post mortem report, Avdheshanand was stabbed 35 times. He sustained grievous injuries on throat, nose, neck and stomach. The victim’s food pipe and the windpipe were severely damaged,” Singh said.
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One of the followers of Avdheshanand, who didn’t wanted to be named, said, “Some people, including Uttam Giri, were unhappy with Avdheshanand ji starting a ‘shakha’ and wanting to open a ‘gurukul’ in Sirohi. He had purchased this land by raising funds from his followers and the local residents.”
The follower added, “Avdheshanand ji wanted to start a school based on Vedic traditions. A few months ago, he had purchased a land in Pindwara, which was illegally encroached by his relatives. He had worked hard to purchase this land in Sirohi. People like Giri consider themselves as contractors of Hindu religion. They were unhappy with the rising popularity of Avdheshanand ji among the Hindus. This was a planned murder,” he alleged.