Temple priest dies after attack by imam in Warangal

Hyderabad: Police have stepped up security in Warangal district of Telangana and arrested one person, after a temple priest he attacked succumbed to injuries on Friday evening.

According to the police Satyanarayana Sharma, a priest of Sivasai temple, was seriously injured after he was assaulted by the Imam of a nearby mosque in Pocchamma Maidan area in Warangal on October 26.

The police have arrested Imam Syed Sadiq Hussain and booked a case under section 302 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The incident occurred after an argument over playing bhajans (devotional songs) over the temple loudspeaker early in the morning, as the Imam had objected to it. The men ended up having a scuffle, in which the priest was injured and admitted to a hospital, police said. Later, he was shifted to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, where he passed away.

Fearing trouble, the police did not allow the priest’s family members or supporters to take his body to the temple area and instead sent it to his native village of Mogilicharla, where last rites were performed on Saturday amid tight security. The police closed the road leading to the village.

However, religious leader Swami Paripoornand who recently joined the BJP reached the village with his supporters and was present at the cremation.

Later, talking to the media, he blamed the vote bank politics of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti for the incident. Saying that Hindus had become unsafe in Telangana, he threatened to cause a stir over the incident.

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