Yet another Hindu temple priest has been brutally murdered in Bharat, this time on the festival of Holi. Pujari Ashok Kumar (50), s/o Karan Singh, had come to serve in the famous Dhakwale mandir in village Anchru Kalan, district Bulandshahr, UP, just one week back.
He was staying in the temple premises itself. On Sunday night, he was taken to a mustard field near the temple and murdered by slitting his throat. Locals were shocked when they found out about the murder on Monday morning. The pujari’s body has been sent for post-mortem and police has started their investigation.
This murder comes just days after a sadhu was brutally murdered using an axe in a Hanuman temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra. The elderly sadhu had been living in the Hanuman temple, built in the jungle along the Yamuna river for almost 30 years.
This is at least the second violent attack against Hindu priests/sadhus in Bulandshahr in the last year – two sadhus, Jagandas (55) and Sevadas (35), were found murdered inside a Shiva temple at Pagona village of Bulandshahr in April, 2020. Police claimed the accused was a drug addict.
Like most districts in West UP, Bulandshahr is reeling from the cow smuggling menace, has witnessed violence over grooming jihad (love jihad) cases, desecration of temples such as urinating on Shivling and other signs of growing Islamic radicalism.
Last year, two sadhus – Gulab Singh (60) and Shyam Sundar Das (61) – died under mysterious circumstances and sadhu Ram Babu (60) was admitted to a hospital after they allegedly consumed “poisonous tea” at Giriraj Vatika Ashram, in Mathura’s Govardhan area.
Such murders and mysterious deaths of sadhus and priests are routine, yet hardly ever make it to headlines. On the contrary, the mere questioning of nuns by Railway Police leads to a country-wide outrage and the Home Minister of the country issues a statement!
The cold-blooded lynching of two sadhus and their driver in Palghar, Maharashtra last April, in presence of police, was so disturbing that mainstream media was forced to cover it. Yet that case has lost steam with most accused out on bail, and no serious action against the police posse which actually pushed elderly Swami Kalpavriksha Giri Maharaj (70) into the hands of the murderous mob. Even though the area where the murder took place is a stronghold of CPM, NCP and the Church, and some ‘secular’ leaders were witnessed at the scene of the crime, police have already issued the usual ‘no communal angle’ certificate.
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