In a horrifying incident, a temple priest died after being set on fire by five people over a land dispute in Rajasthan's Karauli district.
The five accused allegedly poured petrol on Babu Lal Vaishnav and set him on fire in Bukna village on Wednesday. He was referred to the SMS hospital in Jaipur in a critical condition. Vaishnav succumbed to his injuries on Thursday night.
The opposition BJP lashed out at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over the incident. The BJP Rajasthan unit's Twitter handle asked, "What happened to Gehlot Ji's promise of good governance and fear-free Rajasthan? Such ruthlessness, cruelty and inhumanity are the results of the misrule of the Gehlot government only and only in Rajasthan!..."
BJP state chief Satish Poonia was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, "This case of a temple priest burnt alive proves that law and order system in the state has collapsed and criminals have no fear of the law. Rajasthan Police's punchline seems to have now changed to Apradhi Mast, Janta Trast under CM Gehlot."
BJP MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore referred to the political crisis in Rajasthan earlier this year, which saw Gehlot move his loyalist MLAs to a resort. “Nobody is safe in Rajasthan today, neither women nor children, not even priests. A government that stays at a five-star hotel for months can protect only itself, it can't protect the public. Rajasthan is getting a bad name,” Rathore was quoted as saying by ANI.
“As per the data of the National Crime Records Bureau, Rajasthan stands at the first position as far as crimes against women are concerned. I urge Rahul Gandhi, who indulges in political tourism to BJP-ruled states, to pay attention to Rajasthan,” Rathore added.
A delegation of BJP activists, led by BJP Karauli district president Brijlal Dikolia met the collector and superintendent of police to demand the immediate arrest of all the killers of Vaishnav.
In a tweet, Gehlot condemned the murder of Vaishnav as "extremely unfortunate and condemnable" and noted the main accused had been arrested.
Vaishnav's family members had demanded action against the Station House Officer, an investigation by a senior-rank official, compensation and government job to a family member.
Congress engaged in damage control. “I’ve also spoken to DGP. The family will be provided security and their demands will be discussed. I will write a letter to CM, we would take strict action against land encroachers. The government will do justice,” Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi was quoted as saying by ANI.