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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Temple priest injured in shooting over land row, BJP worker among two held

Police said a heated argument took place between the victim, Abhishek Pandey, and the accused - BJP leader Atar Singh (53) and his younger brother Raj Bahadur Singh (48) - outside the temple.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: July 20, 2021 5:26:50 am
Temple priest injured in shooting over land row, BJP worker among two heldAccording to the police, on Sunday evening they were informed that a clash took place outside a temple in the Khojwa area and one person was injured.

A 29-YEAR-OLD Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) office-bearer, who is also a priest at a temple, was injured after he was shot at allegedly by a local BJP worker in a fracas over temple land in Bhelupur area of Varanasi on Sunday, police said.

Police said a heated argument took place between the victim, Abhishek Pandey, and the accused – BJP leader Atar Singh (53) and his younger brother Raj Bahadur Singh (48) – outside the temple. One of the accused took out a pistol and opened fire at Abhishek, added police.

Some local residents accosted the suspects and allegedly thrashed them with sticks before handing them over to police. The injured persons are undergoing treatment at a hospital and doctors said their condition is stable.

“Atar Singh and Raj Bahadur have been arrested in the case,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bhelupur, Chakrapani Tripathi.

The case against accused, who are businessmen, has been lodged on various charges including attempt to murder.

The house of the accused is located near the temple. Atar Singh is secretary of the temple management committee.

According to the police, on Sunday evening they were informed that a clash took place outside a temple in the Khojwa area and one person was injured. A police team rushed to the spot and found three persons injured. Injured persons were sent to a hospital for treatment.

During preliminary inquiry, it came to light that Atar Singh and Pandey were involved in a dispute for the past few years.

HUV’s Kashi Mandal in-charge Ambrish Singh Bhola claimed that Atar Singh and his brother were trying to capture temple land. When Abhishek Pandey objected, they developed an enmity with him and the attack was a fallout of that. A Bihar native, Pandey is vice-president of HUV’s Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya mandal of Varanasi. He has been working as a priest for the past several years.

“I spoke about the incident with senior officials of the district administration and police and they assured me that strict action would be taken against the accused,” said Ambrish Singh.

On Sunday evening, the (two accused) brothers and Pandey entered into an argument over the temple land issue.

On coming to know about the incident, several HUV workers reached the hospital and raised slogans. The matter was resolved after the police assured them that action would be taken.

When contacted, Varanasi’s BJP city president Vidya Sagar said they have come to know that the alleged incident occurred amid a dispute over temple land. Atar Singh does not hold any position in the party, he added.

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