Day after he was set on fire over land dispute, Rajasthan priest dies

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By: Express News Service | Jaipur | Updated: October 10, 2020 4:26:13 am

The victim, Babu Lal Vaishnav, was around 60. (Representational image)

A temple priest in Rajasthan’s Karauli district succumbed to injuries on Thursday, a day after he was allegedly set on fire over a land dispute.

The victim, Babu Lal Vaishnav, was around 60.

The main accused, Kailash Meena, has been arrested and six teams are working to arrest the remaining accused, Superintendent of Police, Karauli, Mridul Kachawa told the media on Friday. The police said they are looking for four more accused.

In a media release, Karauli police said that before his death, Vaishnav told them that his family has been engaged as priests at Radha Gopal temple in Karauli’s Bukna village and his family also tills 15 bigha land that is in the temple’s name. Vaishnav also said that Meena and his family wanted to grab that piece of land, according to the police statement.

“According to the complainant, on Wednesday Vaishnav had an argument with Meena and his associates over some construction the latter was carrying out near a hill. Later, the accused allegedly set Vaishnav on fire,” Karauli’s Additional SP, Prakash Chand said. Vaishnav was moved to Jaipur for treatment, and succumbed to injuries at SMS Hospital there, SP Kachawa said. “On the basis of his dying declaration, a case has been registered under IPC Section 302 (murder),” he added.

Chand said, “Preliminary investigation suggests that the land over which the dispute took place is government land. A case has been registered against five people (named in the complaint), including Meena, the main accused,” he said.

“The murder of Babulal Vaishnav-ji in Sapotra, Karauli, is extremely unfortunate and condemnable… In this grieving time, the state government is with the mourning family. The main accused in the case has been arrested and further action is being taken. The guilty won’t be spared,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted on Friday.

Opposition BJP cited the case to point at an “increasing crime rate” in the state. Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje tweeted, “The way crime graph is increasing in the state… nobody is safe here. The Congress government in the state should wake up from its deep sleep and give those guilty strong punishment…”

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