Temple priest burnt alive: Guilty won’t be spared, says CM Gehlot

TC Bureau Jaipur; As chief minister Ahk Gehlot on Friday said that guilty won’t be spared in the Sapotra incident in which a temple priest was burnt alive, Brahmin organisations came together on Friday to protest the gory act of the land mafia who allegedly set ablaze a priest on Thursday to encroach upon temple land in Bukna Village Panchayat in Sapotra sub-block of Karauli district.

Six people allegedly poured petrol on the priest, Babulal and set him afire on Thursday morning when the priest stopped them from installing tin sheds on his land.

The priest was taken to a health care centre in his village from where he was rushed to Jaipur’s SMS hospital. He breathed his last on Thursday evening.

Gehlot termed it as the most condemnable crime and said that the accused will not be spared. “There is no place for such heinous crimes in the society. The killing of priest Babulal Vaishnav is the most unfortunate event. Prime accused has been arrested and the hunt is on to trace others too,” he added.

BJP state president Satish Poonia meanwhile said, “The setting ablaze of a temple priest simply shows the deteriorating law and order in the state. Criminals are least afraid of the police.”

Leader of opposition Gulabchand Kataria also expressed his worry on the deteriorating law and order of the state. He said, “No one seems afraid of the police in Rajasthan. Criminals’ confidence can be gauged by the fact that they poured petrol on this priest in broad daylight. Fortunately, the priest gave his dying declaration or else he would have been declared to have committed suicide,” he said adding that “I urge CM Gehlot, who is also the home minister of the state, to take stock of rising crime incidents and ensure the return of law and order in the state.”

Meanwhile, a number of Brahmin organisations reached the hospital and stood with the priest’s family members who refused to take his body back to his village to perform the last rites, demanding strict action against police officials while demanding financial compensation.

A delegation of Brahmin organisations went to DGP Bhupendra Singh Yadav and discussed the key demands of the family. Thereafter, on directions of Yadav, additional police commissioner Rahul Prakash and SP Rahul Jain reached the mortuary of the SMS Hospital and spoke to the family and Brahmin organisations.

Their five-point demand charter was accepted which included strict action against the Station house officer, the investigation to be shifted to police officials from another circle, security for the priest’s family members, distribution of financial compensation to family members and government service to any one dependent of the family.

Those who were present on the occasion included Suresh Mishra, Parshuram Sena president Anil Chaturvedi, Right for Fight organisation Sunil Dahiya, Vipra Foundation chief Rajesh, among others. The body was later handed over to his family members after the discussion.

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