LUCKNOW: Tension gripped the Unchahar town of Rae Bareli district when the body of a priest of prominent Ram Janki temple was found hanging with a rope at the temple gate as devotees reached for
routine darshan on Wednesday morning, said the police sources.
Getting the wind of the incident, local residents, who had gathered at the spot in large number, informed the local police.
However, the residents of the area claimed that the priest --Baba Prem Das, 60, -- was allegedly murdered by the land mafia who were trying to grab the temple land for quite some time now. The local
residents of Itaura Buzurg village area, where the temple is situated, also claimed that the priest had written to district administration about the threat to his life.
Superintendent of police (SP), Rae Bareli, Sunil Kumar Singh said that the body was sent for autopsy after which it would be clear if the priest was murdered or he had committed suicide.
Accepting the fact of dispute over the possession of land, the SP claimed that huge contingent of police force, led by CO, Dalmau, Vineet Kumar, was staying put in Unchahar to avert any untoward
incident. “Further investigations are on,” he added. However, CO Vineet Kumar confirmed that the body was found hanging from the 15-feet high temple ceiling.
“Hundreds of villagers gathered at the spot and alleged foul play. The body could not be brought down for over six hours in view of protest by the residents,” added the CO.
As per the local sources, Panchsheel Mahavidyalaya, owned by the aides of a senior
politician was situated on the land of the temple trust following which there was a dispute between the trust and the college owners over the possession of land.