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A 50-year-old priest in Rajasthan's Karauli district succumbed to his injuries after he was attacked and burnt by a group of people over a land dispute.
The priest had around 5.2 acres of land which belonged to the Radha Krishna temple trust in a village in the district. However, the land was given to the head priest to till as a source of income.
Such lands are usually called "Mandir Mafi " and are used a source of income for priests who are caretakers of village temples in Rajasthan. However, this land became the source of a dispute in Rajasthan's Karauli.
The village priest, Babu Lal Vaishnav, wanted to build a house for himself on a plot close to his land. To start construction, he had the land levelled by an earth-mover. Another group of people from the dominant Meena community objected to this construction and claimed the land as their own.
The elders in the village were then informed about the dispute who ruled in favour of the priest. The priest then placed bales of his newly harvested millet on the land to mark his ownership.
However, the accused allegedly started building their own hut on the land that the priest had levelled.
The priest, whose statement before the police has been recorded, said six people poured petrol on his millet which were lying at the disputed site and set it on fire on Wednesday. He claimed they also poured petrol on him and tried to burn him.
Suffering burn injuries, the victim was rushed to Jaipur's SMS Hospital where he died on October 8.
Senior police officer Harji Lal Yadav told NDTV, "The post-mortem is being done right now of the body. We have registered a case of murder and we have also taken the prime accused, Kailsah Meena, into custody."
The priest in his statement had named six people-Kailash, Shankar, Namo Meena and three others.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje slammed the state government for the incident on Twitter. Some BJP leaders alleged that the law and order situation in the state was deteriorating under the Ashok Gehlot government.
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