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Rajasthan: Temple priest set on fire by land mafia, dies of severe burn injuries

The priest had suffered burn injuries all over his body, post which he was admitted to the Burn Department in Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur. However, he succumbed to his injuries later. In his dying testimony, the Hindu priest had named 6 people for setting him on fire

In yet another shocking case, a 50-year-old temple priest named Babulal Vaishnav has been burned to death in the Bokna village, Sapaotra division of Karauli district of Rajasthan. As per reports 6 persons who had designs to grab the land of the temple had poured petrol on the priest and set him on fire.

Babulal was the head priest of the Radhagovind temple in the village. On Thursday, October 8, 6 persons who were allegedly trying to encroach upon the temple land and were resisted by the priest, had poured petrol over him and set him on fire. Babulal Vaishnav was admitted in the SMS Hospital in Jaipur in a critical condition and he succombed to his injuries on Friday morning.

The video of the incident has gone viral on social media. In the said video, the priest can be seen having burn injuries all over his body as he sat on a hospital bed. He can also be heard crying in pain.

The priest had suffered burn injuries all over his body, post which he was admitted to the Burn Department in Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur. However, he succumbed to his injuries later. In his dying testimony, the Hindu priest had named 6 people for setting him on fire. Although the case falls under the jurisdiction of the Saporta police, they have not arrested any of the accused as so far.

Babulal Vaishnav, sitting on the hospital bed, with his burn injuries
Babulal Vaishnav at the SMS hospital

Locals demand justice for temple priest

While speaking on the case, prior to the death of the temple priest, local activists narrated how Babulal Vaishnav was set on fire by 6 miscreants. They also pointed out the negligence of the government towards the case. A local activist further emphasised, “The administration and the Rajasthan government is sleeping, despite the heinous case. They are unperturbed as they have become used to protests. Until you take out demonstrations, they won’t take any action. This is a shameful and condemnable incident. There cannot be anything worse than burning a priest alive by pouring petrol over him. The destruction of a country is inevitable if such incidents happen in a State. I am warning the administration to arrest the accused immediately. Negligence, on their part, will not be tolerated. Else, we will be forced to hit the streets.”

Locals allege rising anti-Hindu sentiment due to Bhim army

While speaking to OpIndia, locals alleged about the rising anti-Hindu sentiment in the area, owing to the activities of the Bhim army. They informed that the area had become a hotbed for Dalit politics, resulting in a generation of youth being brainwashed to vilify Hinduism. They further informed that some persons from a local community wanted to encroach upon the land, where the Hindu priest was building his house. When he opposed their move, Babulal Vaishnav lost his life.

Although, skimming through some social media posts, one can certainly find ‘Meena’ community people relishing this death, but this crime is not a result of caste politics, rather a land issue. Later, after the death, the caste politics has started where the political parties are trying to weaken the FIR (as claimed by locals with knowledge if the issue) by naming just one main accused, Kailash, and getting the administration to treat this as a possible suicide by self-immolation or a result of skirmish when the ‘chhan’ (cattle shelter) caught fire and the priest was injured.

Palghar Sadhu lynching

On 16th April 2020, two Sadhus of Juna Akhara, Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), and Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) were lynched along with their 30-year old driver by a mob. The incident took place at Gadchinchale village in Palghar district, Maharashtra. They were on their way to Surat, Gujarat. In videos of the brutal incident, the local police was seen ignoring the plea of an old, injured Kalpavrukshagiri and watching without intervention while a violent mob beat him to death in front of the police station.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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