Rajasthan: Priest set on fire for resisting land encroachment
A group of six men allegedly poured petrol on a 50-year-old priest and set him on fire in Rajasthan's Karauli, leading to his demise, reports said today. The priest was attacked over a land dispute and breathed his last at Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital. The primary accused was arrested within 24 hours of the crime being reported at Bukna village, said police.
The dispute concerned around 5.2 acres of land, which was owned by the Radha Krishna temple trust. The priest, Babu Lal Vaishnav, was given the land to till and he generated an income from it. In Rajasthan, the practice of handing over the temple land to caretaker priests is quite rampant. But this land sparked tensions between Vaishnav and the dominant Meena community.
Intending to construct a house at the site, Vaishnav got the land leveled. But the other community raised objections, reports NDTV. When the matter went to the seniors of the village, they ruled in Vaishnav's favor. Even as the priest continued tilling and farming, treating the land as his own, the accused began building a hut on the leveled land.
When the accused started installing tin sheds on the land, Vaishnav objected, but was "punished." Petrol was thrown on him and he was set on fire. "The post-mortem is being done right now of the body. We have registered a case of murder and we have also taken the prime accused, Kailash Meena, into custody," said senior cop Harji Lal Yadav.
Karauli SP Mridul Kachhawa told IANS that teams have been formed to nab the remaining accused. Taking on Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after the news surfaced, his predecessor and BJP member Vasundhara Raje tweeted, "One thing is clear from the speed at which the crime graph is increasing in Rajasthan, that no women, children, old people, Dalits, businessmen are safe here. (sic)"
#Rajasthan में अपराध का ग्राफ जिस गति से बढ़ रहा है, उससे एक बात तो स्पष्ट है कि यहां महिलाएं, बच्चे, बूढ़े, दलित, व्यापारी कोई भी सुरक्षित नहीं है। राज्य की कांग्रेस सरकार को अब अपनी गहरी नींद को त्यागते हुए दोषियों को सख्त सजा दिलाकर परिवार को तुरंत न्याय दिलाना चाहिए।#Karauli— Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) October 9, 2020