Dasna temple priest Swami Nareshanand Saraswati stabbed
A priest was stabbed multiple times in Dasna Devi Temple (Ghaziabad district, Uttar Pradesh) in the early hours of Tuesday. Swami Nareshanand Saraswati was asleep in the temple premises when an unknown accused attacked him using a paper cutter, as per reports. The priest was rushed to a nearby hospital and is currently stable, the police said. Here are more details on this.
The incident took place around 3:30 am when Saraswati was sleeping on a cot in the volunteer section of the temple. He had come to Dasna from Samastipur in Bihar to meet the temple's head priest Narsinghanand Saraswati and to participate in a function. The accused had scaled the wall of the temple to enter the premises, reports say.
"We received information that a priest had been stabbed in Dasna area. The victim had traveled from Samastipur and was staying in the temple. Presently, he is receiving treatment and is out of danger," said Iraj Raja, SP, Rural Ghaziabad. "We are gathering evidence pertaining to the case and teams have been formed to investigate the case. All angles are being probed," he added.
Police have filed a First Information Report (FIR) for attempt to murder at the Masuri Police station. Raja said a picket of Provincial Armed Constabulary guards was informed 20 minutes after the incident. Cops also gathered CCTV footage of the area but the cameras were found to be shut at the time of the attack, according to The Hindu.
Narsinghanand Saraswati, the chief priest of the temple, has been in the news for his controversial statements against Muslims and Hindu women. He has claimed in the past that he could be attacked for his views. In March, a Muslim boy was allegedly thrashed on the Dasna Temple premises after he purportedly went inside to drink water.
Anil Yadav, a disciple of Narsinghanand and spokesperson for the Dasna Temple, alleged it was the work of "Islamic Jihadis" and claimed the actual target was the head priest. "They have failed in the past and last night they tried again," he reportedly said.
Sources told The Hindu that Tuesday's attack could be linked to the anti-Muslim slogans raised at Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Sunday. Some of the accused in that case are from Ghaziabad and said to be close to the chief priest. Objectionable slogans threatening Muslims were shouted in the national capital over the weekend, and six people have been detained by the police.