A temple priest, who died after being set afire allegedly by land-grabbers on Wednesday in Rajasthan's Karauli district, was cremated on Saturday after his protesting family members agreed to it following assurances from the administration. Amid the massive outrage against the Ashok Gehlot government, the priest's nephew has claimed that the administration pressurised the family members to cremate the body on Friday night.
"They told us to cremate him as soon as possible. They even pressurised the villagers that they should perform the last rites immediately. We (villagers and relatives) reached the place at 8 pm and there was also a police vehicle there. We denied performing the funeral at night because it is not in our ritual. Later on, they agreed to it."
The family, which had refused to conduct his last rites, was assured that they would be provided Rs 10 lakh compensation, a contractual job for a dependent and a house under Indira Awas Yojna besides removal of a local revenue officer and an SHO, police said.
Earlier in the day, BJP leaders joined the family members of the priest, Babu Lal Vaishnav, and other residents in a dharna at the Bukna village, demanding justice for the victim. A three-member committee constituted by BJP also reached the spot, as the party stepped up its attack on the Ashok Gehlot government over the incident.
According to police, one person has been arrested and another detained so far in connection with the attack on the priest allegedly by five men near an agriculture farm. The accused, who allegedly wanted to encroach on temple land, poured petrol on Vaishnav set him ablaze. He was admitted in a critical condition to SMS hospital in Jaipur where he died on Thursday night
"Funeral was done after the family members agreed to the assurance of compensation, job, house and transfer of patwari and SHO," Karauli SP Mridul Kachawa said. Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra, who was part of the BJP team, claimed that no help has reached the victim's family, despite an assurance from a Rajasthan minister. "The Rajasthan government is insensitive to law and order and justice," he alleged.
(With agency inputs)