The death of a specially-abled priest in the Dausa district, Rajasthan, due to trauma owing to pressure from the land mafia, has snowballed into a major political controversy. Scores of BJP leader led by Madhya Pradesh MP Kirodi Lal Meena staged a Dharna near Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence in Jaipur on Thursday.
The BJP leaders sat with the priest’s dead body in the civil lines area, raised slogans and demanded justice for the priest, who according to the protestors, died of a shock after his land was illegally grabbed by the land mafia.
According to reports, the hearing impaired priest from Dausa, Shambhu Lal Sharma died of a heart attack a week ago. He was allegedly under pressure from a land mafia. After the death of the priest, a protest was first staged outside the police station in Mahua in Rajasthan’s Dausa district. After the protestors were driven out from the protest site by the Dausa police, the BJP leaders brought the body of the deceased to Jaipur on Thursday. Several BJP leaders including former state president Dr Arun Chaturvedi, Dr Kirodi Lal Meena, Sanganer MLA Ashok Lahoti, and others staged a dharna a few metres away from CM’s residence.
Rajasthan police, present at the site, allegedly used tear gas and rained lathis to disperse the protestors on Thursday.
The Rajasthan priest was forcefully made to sign the documents, alleges BJP leader
Additional Superintendent of Police Anil Singh Chauhan said that Shambhu, who lived alone, was the owner of two bighas of land near a highway in Rajasthan’s Dausa district. Shambhu’s caretaker, taking advantage of his disability, fraudulently registered his land in the name of a person named Balbir and a woman last month through his caretaker, the ASP said.
As per the BJP MP, the priest’s land was grabbed by the mafia after he was made to forcefully sign the documents. He was also thrashed by the mafia due to which he died, alleged Meena, after which the MP along with other BJP leaders staged a sit-in, demanding justice for the deceased priest.
BJP leader criticises the Congress Govt in Rajasthan for its apathy
BJP leaders’ demands included cancellation of the registration, action against the officials involved in the process and removing encroachments from ‘mandir-mafi’ lands, those lands designated for temples, priests or their family members. They also demanded compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the family of the deceased along with a job for the next of the kin.
The leaders castigated the ruling Congress government for turning a blind eye towards the growing menace of land mafia in the state. “The government is sleeping and we are here to wake up the government,” Meena said.