A day after a temple priest named Samrat Das was shot by miscreants in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress party resorted to the politicisation of the case by peddling fake news. The unfortunate incident took place on Saturday in Tirre Manorama village in Gonda in Uttar Pradesh where the priest of Ram Janki Temple was shot over land ownership dispute with the local land mafia.
On Sunday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter to claim that the injured priest was dead. While casting aspersions on the ‘integrity’ of the Hindi media, he lamented how the journalists were not holding the Uttar Pradesh government accountable for the ‘death’ of Samrat Das. He further claimed that it was not ‘permissible’ for the media to question the BJP’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government.
Surjewala tweeted, “Now, a temple priest named Samrat Das was killed in public view in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh. I wish Hindi media channels and reporters would have questioned the UP government in a similar manner as they did in Rajasthan. Ah! I forgot. It is not allowed to seek answers from Yogi Adityanath and the BJP.”
His tweet comes at the backdrop of a social media backlash over the ‘inaction’ of Rajasthan government against the killers of a temple priest named Babulal Vaishnav in the Bokna village, Sapotra division of Karauli district of Rajasthan. The said priest was burnt to death by 6 people, who were allegedly eyeing to encroach upon the temple land.
UP govt, police busts fake claims of Randeep Surjewala
Hours after Congress leader Randeep Surjewala falsely claimed the ‘death’ of the injured temple priest in Uttar Pradesh, in a bid to draw parallels with the Rajasthan case, the Uttar Pradesh police exposed his lies. While responding to his tweet, Gonda police informed, “We would like to inform you that two people have already been arrested. The accused are being interrogated in connection to the case.”
Gonda police further emphasised, “The temple priest is currently undergoing treatment at the KGMU (King George’s Medical College). His condition is stable now. Police teams have been constituted the nab the other accused in the case. “
Taking to Twitter, Shalabh Mani Tripathi, the media advisor to the UP Chief Minister, posted a video clip of the temple priest Samrat Das and lambasted Randeep Surjewala for spreading misinformation. He stated, “Congress is the factory of fake news. The priest, who is being claimed to be dead, is in fact in a stable condition. He has minor injuries and is satisfied with police action in the case. The miscreants who attacked Das over land dispute have been arrested. But, you will peddle fake news nevertheless to hide your misdeeds.”
In the video clip posted by Tripathi, Samrat Das was asked about his health condition. “I am little unwell and has little pain. But, I am told that two people have been arrested. I have full faith in Yogi government.”
कांग्रेस Fake News की फ़ैक्टरी है,आप जिनकी हत्या की बात रहे हैं वे संत जी पूरी तरह स्वस्थ हैं,शरीर पर मामूली चोट है,वे पुलिस कार्रवाई से पूरी तरह संतुष्ट हैं,ज़मीनी रंजिश में जिन लोगों ने हमला किया,वे गिरफ़्तार हो चुके हैं,पर आपको तो झूठ फैलाना है,अपने कुकर्म ढँकने के लिए !! https://t.co/Y5JUiWBeeb pic.twitter.com/7Gu7QAmkaH— Shalabh Mani Tripathi (@shalabhmani) October 11, 2020
The background of the Gonda case
On the night of October 10, Samrat Das, the priest of Ram Janaki temple, was attacked over a land dispute with the local land mafia. The dispute between the two parties is over 25 acres of land (100 bighas) that belong to the temple. The miscreants attacked him on Saturday night and escaped. Police have registered FIR against four miscreants and started an investigation. Reportedly, the temple priest was attacked last year as well.
The priest was rushed to a local hospital after the incident. He was then referred to Lucknow Trauma Center as he was in critical condition. However, he is out of danger now. Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey said in a statement that the police had arrested two people, and the other two are still absconding.
Interestingly, even after his lies got exposed, Surjewala was yet to delete his misleading tweet at the time of this report’s publication.