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Self-immolation bid by Jaipur priest over temple dispute

Pandit Giriraj Sharma was admitted to a hospital here with over 60 percent burns. His condition is stated to be serious.

Statesman News Service | Jaipur |

Facing continuous torture by the working society of the Laxmi Narayan Mandir here, a 62-year old priest employed since 2002 allegedly attempted self-immolation outside the its custodian and former chairman of the Temple Development Society residence in Murlipura area in the state capital at 5 am.

Pandit Giriraj Sharma was admitted to the SMS Hospital here with over 60 percent burns. His condition is stated to be serious, the ACP-Jhotwara Pramod Swami told SNS.

The temple society’s custodian, Mool Chand Man, was sleeping when the priest poured highly inflammable solvent over his body and ignited in the cover of darkness, but his act was caught in the CCTV footage, the ACP said.

His wife, Chandrakanta, lodged a FIR with the Murlipura police station alleging that seven functionaries of so-called temple committee were harassing and torturing her husband since early this year. They wanted to remove him and did not pay the monthly remuneration of Rs.10,000 despite repeated requests.

The police registered a case under section 306, 511, and 109 on the complaint of the priest ‘s wife  and detained five out of seven accused and they were being interrogated, the ACP said.

Meanwhile local residents and a group of Saइnts of the city’s temple society protested outside the temple and demanded immediate arrest of the accused.