A priest died due to burn injuries in Karauli district of Rajasthan after he was set on fire by a group of people from a dominant community due to a land dispute. The priest Babulal has named five persons in his dying declaration. The police have registered a case of murder and one of them Kailash Meena has been arrested. The incident took place just 177 kilometres from capital Jaipur.
The 55-year-old deceased Babu Lal Vaishnav was the priest of the Radha Krishna temple in Bukna village of Karauli. He owned 13 bighas (5.2 acres) of land in the Sapotara area of Karauli district. He had sown millets in the land and was levelling the part of the land near a hillock to get a house constructed. Several people from the dominant Meena community claimed the land as their own.
The matter was put up before the village panchayat that ruled in favour of the priest. The people from the Meena community started to build a hut on the levelled land to stake claim of their ownership. The priest put his harvest of millets on the land to claim it as his.
On Wednesday, six persons came to the land and poured petrol on the priest and set him on fire. He was rushed to the Sawai Man Singh Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Thursday evening. Those named by the priest are Kailash Meena, Shankar Meena, Namo Meena and two others.
SP Karauli Mridul Kachawa said, “The matter is related to a land dispute. The priest has named five persons in his dying declaration and one of them has been arrested. Search is on for the others”
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot issued a statement on the micro blogging site Twitter. He said, “Babulal Vaishnav’s murder in Sapotara, Karauli is condemnable and unfortunate. There is no place for such incidents in a civilized society. The government stands with the aggrieved family in their time of grief. The main accused has been arrested and further action is being taken. The guilty will not be spared.”
There is huge resentment among the Brahmin community over the incident and there have been protests in several parts of the state.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje also tweeted about the incident, “The crime graph in Rajasthan continues to grow. The state government should wake up from its slumber and ensure that culprits are punished.”