Killing of two Hindu sadhus in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya has triggered protests and tension in the district, PTI reported on Wednesday. The two sadhus were stabbed to death at the Bhayanaknath temple in Kudarkot area of Bidhoona on the intervening night of Tuesday-Wednesday and another was injured after which angry people took to the streets and staged demonstrations on highways.
The exact motive for the crime was not immediately clear, police said adding they suspected the victims’ opposition to cow slaughter could be one reason. Additional DG (Kanpur range) Avinash Chandra said the priests were found lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds on their necks and other body parts. According to officials, two policemen have been suspended for dereliction of duty after the violence.
Police suspect the monks were attacked as they opposed some people who were allegedly into cow slaughter. “They were tied to a charpoy and attacked. Two of them were killed,” Circle Officer, Bidhuna, Bhaskar Verma said.
Infuriated at the killings, a mob attacked shops and set some of them afire and hurled stones and brickbats, prompting police to open fire in the air, an official said, adding the situation was soon brought under control with heavy deployment of police to prevent any untoward incident
The deceased were identified as Lajja Ram (65) and Halke Ram (53), residents of Bakewar, Etawah. Another monk, Ramsharan (56), received serious injuries, police said. A resident of Bidhuna, he was shifted to Saifai hospital, they said.
Inspector General of Police (Kanpur range), Alok Singh, rushed to Auraiyya to supervise police action and to maintain law and order. “People were generally complaining that the area where the murders took place was witnessing cases of cow slaughter and the victims were opposing it. That could be a possible motive behind the attack,” the IG said, adding, Station House Officer, Akhilesh Mishra, was placed under suspension on charges of negligence.
Around a dozen police teams headed by senior officials were formed to investigate the double-murder. Special surveillance teams were sent to Auraiya from Kanpur to assist local police in cracking the case and in dealing with rumour-mongers, officials said.