Dhar (Madhya Pradesh): A 58-year-old priest of a temple was allegedly beaten to death by some unidentified persons who were loitering outside the premises in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district, police said on Tuesday.
While the attack took place at Gyanpura village, about 7 km from the district headquarters, late on Sunday night, the priest Baba Arundas succumbed to his injuries on Monday, an official said.
According to the watchman of the Hanuman temple, who is the complainant in the case, a group of three to four people were standing and wandering outside the premises around 8.30 pm on Sunday, deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Monika Singh said.
Arundas, who was sleeping inside the temple with the watchman, asked the accused why they were wandering outside the temple, she said.
Angered by the victim's question, the accused started abusing him and later allegedly hit him with sticks and stones, the official said, adding that the watchman was also beaten up when he intervened.
The watchman subsequently sought help from some villagers, who rushed the priest to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries, Singh said.
A case has been registered at Tirla police station under relevant sections of the IPC against unidentified persons, and the accused will be nabbed soon, she said.
Meanwhile, condemning the attack, state Congress chief Kamal Nath said the law-and-order situation in the state under the BJP government was pathetic as criminals had no fear.
"Baba Arundas, a priest at the Hanuman temple in Gyanpura village of Dhar district, was brutally beaten to death by goons. Even the priest of a temple is also not safe now," he said.
The killers should be arrested soon and strict action should be taken against them to establish law and order, Nath said.