A priest in the Karauli district of Rajasthan, less than 200 Kms from the capital Jaipur, died of burns after a group of people attacked him over a land dispute.
The priest had about thirteen bighas (about 5.2 acres) of land that belonged to the temple trust of Radha Krishna in a village in the district. But the land was given to the high priest to be cultivated as a source of income. Land like this, which is owned by temple trusts, is usually given to the guardian priests for their use in exchange for performing pujas and performing rituals at the temples in the village.
These lands are called “Mandir Mafi” and are a source of income for the priests who look after the temples in the village of Rajasthan. But this land became the source of a dispute in Karauli in Rajasthan.
The village priest, Babu Lal Vaishnav, wanted to build him a house on land near his land bordered by a small hill. To begin construction, he had the ground leveled by an excavator. Another group of people from the dominant community of Meena opposed it and claimed the land as their own.
Then the priest went ahead and placed bales of his freshly harvested millet on the ground as a sign of ownership. But the defendants reportedly started building their own huts on the land the priest had leveled.
On late Wednesday, Six peoples poured petrol on him and set him on fire. Suffering burn injuries, the victim was rushed to Jaipur’s SMS Hospital where he died on Thursday evening.