Five arrested in the Auraiya case admit they killed Sadhus because priests opposed cow slaughter

Three days post the gruesome act in which two Sadhu’s were murdered in Auriaya district on the intervening night of 14th and 15th August, the Uttar Pradesh police have identified 14 miscreants out of which 11 were present at the incident spot and arrested 5 in connection to the same.

As reported by various media houses, the accused have apparently admitted that they committed the crime as the priests were opposing cow slaughtering which the miscreants were involved in.

Following the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath’s order to probe the incident within 48 hours, the Director General of police Kanpur had ordered to form seven police teams which have been working on the case. The state crime branch has also assisted in the investigations. The teams arrested the accused namely, Salman, Nadeem, Sehzaad, Majnu alias Nazim and Jabbar, all residents of Kudarkot, a small town in Auraiya district, Uttar Pradesh, and also impounded six sharp weapons which were allegedly used to carry out the crime.

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On further interrogation, the arrested revealed the names of a few others, Gaffar, Shahbaaz, Chunnu alias Sahib Alam, Chote, Bhole, Danish, Raja, Chaand, and Jabbar, who were also involved in the heinous crime. Police have launched a manhunt and continuous efforts are being made to arrest the rest as soon as possible.

The bodies of the priests were discovered on Wednesday morning when a devotee went to the Bhayanak Nath Mahadev temple to offer prayers. The two sadhus identified as Lajja Ram Yadav and Harbhajan were overpowered and attacked with sharp objects and were found dead with their limbs stretched over the cots and tied with clothes. The third Sadhu, Ram Sharan, was critically injured and referred to a hospital at Saifai in Etawah.

Locals in the area, infuriated by the killing, had set some shops ablaze and pelted stones forcing the police to resort to baton charge, lob tear-gas shells and fire in the air to disperse the mob. Subsequently, the situation was brought under control, however, to maintain law and order the area has been kept heavily guarded by the armed personnel. Now, however, the situation is slowly normalizing with shops reopening and people getting back to work, though the temple is still strictly guarded with armed personnel deployed heavily around the area.

Following the incident, the chief minister had also announced a financial aid of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the two deceased sadhus and Rs 1 lakh for the injured.

A Dainik Jagran report had claimed that other such incidents were reported in the state in recent days too. A similar incident was reported a few days prior, in which a temple mahant (head priest), Kalidas and another priest, Sonpal, were beaten to death in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district, triggering protest by the locals. In another incident, a temple in Unnao was vandalised by miscreants and its idols were broken.

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