03 Jan 2019
Priest's body found hanging from pole near temple in UP
A 64-year-old priest was killed allegedly by four people, and his body was found hanging from a pole near the temple, police said today.
Swami Premdas, a priest of Ram Janki temple in Unchahar town of Raebareli, was killed on Tuesday night, they said.
Based on a complaint of Mahant Mauni Baba, another priest, an FIR was registered against four people.
Priest killed over dispute with land mafia, said complainant
The four people include Bajinath Maurya, who was involved in a dispute over possession of land belonging to the temple.
Maurya, who is a member of the land mafia, was also allegedly involved in the murder of the earlier priest of the temple, Swami Satyanarain Das, said the complainant.
The priest's body has been sent for autopsy, Sunil Kumar Singh, SP, said.
Priest had also written to authorities citing threat to life
Locals claimed that the priest had also written to authorities of Raebareli citing threat to his life.
The Circle Officer (CO) Vineet Singh said the body of the priest was found hanging from the ceiling above the temple gate, which was about 15ft high.
He said the body couldn't be brought down for 6 hours because of the protest by the residents.
Court had ordered administration to get illegally occupied land vacated
A local resident claimed that Panchsheel Mahavidyalaya, which is owned by the aides of a senior politician, was situated on the land of the Baba ka Purva temple trust.
He said there was a dispute between the trust and the college owners over the possession of land.
"Recently, a court directed the district administration to get the illegally occupied land vacated," he added.
Pressure tactics: Land mafia also implicated Premdas in fake cases
"To mount pressure on Premdas, the land grabbers also tried to implicate him in fake cases," said the local resident.
Following this, Premdas made another priest, Mauni Baba, the head of the trust, he added.
Mauni Baba alleged that Maurya has encroached upon a piece of land of the temple and construction is going on there.
Police said action will be taken against accused.