A priest in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda, around 117 km from state capital Lucknow, is reported to be in critical condition after he was shot by unknown men last night allegedly over land dispute.
Samrat Das, who serves at the Ram Janki temple in the district, was shot at the temple premises late in the night, officials said. The priest, who is reported to be critical, has been referred to a hospital in Lucknow.
The Ram Janki temple, which is about 25 kilometer from Gonda City, has about 100 bighas of land along the banks of river Manorama, which is very expensive.
According to reports, some local land mafia have been trying to grab the prime land, following which several cases were filed in the local court.
“A priest of a temple at a village in Itia Thok, Gonda was shot at last night. He was admitted to a hospital. Case has been registered against four persons. He had land dispute with the accused. We are investigating the matter,” Shailesh Kumar Pandey, Gonda Superintendent of Police, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
This is the second reported case of attack on a priest over temple land.
On Thursday, a priest in Rajasthan died due to burn injuries after he was attacked by a group of men over a land dispute. The Rajasthan priest was cremated only on Saturday after his family relented and allowed the last rites to be performed.
The police have also detained two people in connection with the crime and another three have been named in the first information report.