Dalit man assaulted by priest for touching utensil, critical

A 25-year old Dalit youth was allegedly assaulted by a priest for taking water from a utensil kept outside a temple under Gosainganj police station on Friday to wash hands and is in a critical state. The priest has been arrested.
Police said that the incident occurred around 12pm when Neeraj, a resident of Gosainganj, and his cousin Atal came out of Shri Siddheshwar Baba temple in the area after offering prayers.
“Neeraj took some water from the utensil kept outside the temple to wash hands. The temple priest, Ram Charan (40) got angry over this and attacked Neeraj with an iron rod while hurling abuses,” Atal said in his complaint.

Neeraj suffered serious head injuries and was rushed to KGMU Trauma Centre where his condition is said to be critical. “An FIR has been registered against the priest on the charges of voluntarily causing hurt, intentional insult, attempt to culpable homicide and criminal intimidation. Provisions of Scheduled Caste and Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been slapped on the accused,” said circle officer Mohanlalganj Raj Kumar Shukla.

Atal told TOI, “When the priest raised objection, Neeraj said that he will pay fine if he has done something wrong. However, the priest pushed him and dealt several blows on his head with the rod. Passersby rushed to intervene and rescued Neeraj.”

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