Lucknow, Aug 16: Two sadhus (seers) were stabbed to death inside a temple premises in Uttar Pradesh's Auraiya. The killings took place at the Bhayanaknath temple on the intervening night of Tuesday-Wednesday. The incident stirred communal tension in the Bidhuna area of Auraiya district, with a mob going on a rampage.
The deceased were identified as Lajja Ram (65) and Halke Ram (53), residents of Bakewar, Etawah. They were found in a pool of blood with multiple injuries. Another priest, Ramsharan (56), is batteling for life in Saifai hospital. Enraged at the killings, a mob set some shops ablaze and pelted stones forcing the police to fire in the air.
The exact motive behind the killings was not immediately clear, the police said adding they suspected the victims’ opposition to cow slaughter could be one reason. “The incident took place around 3 am, when three ‘sadhus’ (Hindu monks) were attacked by unidentified men," Additional Superintendent of Police, Auraiya, Rajesh Kumar Saxena told PTI.
Infuriated at the killings, a mob attacked shops and set some of them afire and hurled stones and brickbats, prompting police to open fire in the air, an official said, adding the situation was soon brought under control with heavy deployment of police to prevent any untoward incident. Inspector General of Police (Kanpur range), Alok Singh, rushed to Auraiyya to maintain law and order.
“People were generally complaining that the area where the murders took place was witnessing cases of cow slaughter and the victims were opposing it. That could be a possible motive behind the attack,” the IG said, adding, Station House Officer, Akhilesh Mishra, was placed under suspension on charges of negligence.
Taking note of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed top officials including the Principal Secretary (Home) and the state DGP to ensure the case was worked out within 48 hours and strict action was taken against the culprits. The chief minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the two deceased sadhus and Rs 1 lakh for the injured monk.