The priest from Sai Baba temple near Pochamma Maidan, was reportedly attacked on 26 October, when he was offering prayers in the morning at around 5:30 a.m by playing ‘suprabhatham’ on speakers. He was then approached by Sayeed Hussain who happened to be Imam of a mosque at LB Nagar, for switching off the speakers. After he refused to do so, Imam lost all the control and started to hit the priest badly. The assault stopped only after locals intervened, said the Matwada police. The entire act was captured on the temple’s CCTV camera. With the help of locals, Satyanarayana was taken to MGM hospital.
After priest’s condition turned critical, he was rushed to the NIMS Hospital. Doctors said that the priest had sustained internal bleeding due to a ruptured liver and broken ribs. Initially he was responding to the treatment but couldn’t gain consciousness & succumbed to death.
After news of murder spread, BJP activists held a rasta roko at Pochamma Maidan junction and demanded the arrest of the Imam, who went missing after the incident. Agitated by the merciless attack by Imam and the state government being silent on the whole incident, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) demanded a death sentence for Sayeed Hussain and immediate arrest of others who played a role in the attack. In a press statement, Kesireddy Jaipal Reddy, president of VHP Warangal urban division, N. Bhaskar Rao VHP Telangana vice president and K. Ramesh, VHP District co-ordinator of Warangal demanded that the Telangana state government bear the expense of the last rites of the priest and provide security to Shiva Sai temple in Pochamma Maidan.
Condemning the way a Hindu priest who was merely discharging duties was murdered in a barbaric way, the VHP asked government to give up its minority appeasement policies and to respect the rights and sentiments of Hindus.
As the priest didn’t have any means to get a proper treatment, NGOs and members of Warangal Bar Association intervened and gave several representations to the Telangana Government, requesting the priest’s treatment costs be borne by the Government. However, the requests were ignored.
Police filed a case of attempt to murder against Hussain on the same day and took him into custody. “We filed a case against the Imam and arrested him. We filed a case under section 307 IPC, which we will alter to punishment for murder,” said a police official from Matwada police station.
Further, Warangal Urban BJP district president Rao Padma said that they were not sure if the police had gotten the right person, as there was a difference between the man seen in the CCTV footage and the person being shown by the police. “When similar incidents took place in other temples, the police have presented a mentally challenged person as the accused. We are not convinced the police has got the right person this time,” she said.
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