Poisonous substance, handwritten note give twist to priest’s death in Rae Bareli
A senior police officer said a poisonous substance and piece of paper purportedly undersigned by the deceased priest have been recovered from his room. He said the note was placed in a way to make it appear that it was written by the priest before he ended his life.
Recovery of a poisonous substance and a handwritten note from the room of the priest, who was found hanging in Ram Janki Temple in Unchahar (Rae Bareli) on Wednesday, has added to the mystery behind his death. Baba Prem Das, 60, was found hanging from the 15-feet high ceiling of the main entrance of the temple on Wednesday.
The police registered a case of murder against the owner of Panchsheel Mahavidyalaya (a degree college) BN Maurya – who had allegedly occupied the 11-bigha land of the temple trust – and his three aides on the complaint of Mauni Baba, who is also associated with the temple trust.
A senior police officer said a poisonous substance and piece of paper purportedly undersigned by the deceased priest have been recovered from his room. He said the note was placed in a way to make it appear that it was written by the priest before he ended his life. The poisonous substance was also found near the body making it appear that he consumed it.
The official, however, suspected why would the priest first consume poison and then hang himself.
“The post-mortem report also suggests that the death was caused by asphyxia due to ante-mortem hanging. However, his viscera has been preserved to ascertain if he was poisoned as well,” he said.
“The paper has also been sent for forensic examination to ascertain if it was written by the priest. The police are yet to reach a final conclusion as there could be a possibility that the death is being made to appear a case of suicide,” said the officer.
He added that all the angles were being investigated but the mystery behind the entire sequence of events was still unclear.
However, locals and people associated with the temple ruled out suicide. They said the assailants murdered him and then hanged his body to make it appear a suicide case.
Requesting anonymity, a local said the priest’s predecessor, Baba Satya Narain Das, had also died under mysterious circumstances about seven years ago.
He said Satya Narain Das, who began the fight to get back the trust’s land from the college owner, was suspected to be poisoned. He was found dead on his bed on October 12, 2011.
Meanwhile, the body of priest Baba Prem Das was buried on Thursday on the same land for which he was fighting. Hundreds of locals and followers gathered to attend his funeral after which his ‘samadhi’ (grave) was constructed after burial. Heavy police force was deployed to avert any untoward incident.