A man disguised as a devotee on Monday attacked a priest at the Brahma temple in Rajasthan’s Pushkar, after fake news articles and social media posts surfaced on the Internet. Reports said that a man attacked the priest over a fake news circulated on WhatsApp that President Ram Nath Kovind was not being permitted to enter the temple premises as he is a Dalit. While the police said that the accused is mentally challenged, the victim has left shocked following the incident. The accused has been identified as Ashok Meghwal, who was standing in a queue, waited for his turn to offer prayers before attacking the priest, Mahadev Puri. The CCTV footage of the entire incident has been doing the rounds over the social media.
Notably, there were posts and tweets on the Internet that President Kovind, along with his family faced casteism as he was not allowed to enter the temple premises on May 15, to offer prayers. However, the news that the priest of the temple objected the President’s entry to the temple was soon debunked by some media agency.
In the CCTV footage, a man holding a sharp-edged weapon first attacks the priest leaving him wounded and then turns to the other devotees waving the weapon at them for a few minutes scaring them away. The accused said that he was upset over the fact that President Ram Nath Kovind was not allowed to worship in the Brahma Temple during his two-day visit to Rajasthan. On the other hand, the injured priest said that he was not present at the temple on the day President Kovind visited it. Otherwise, he would have ensured that he offers the prayers inside the temple.
Following the fake news, the press secretary to President Kovind had even tweeted a clarification regarding the issue. “President’s visit to Pushkar was very short as he had to fly to Mumbai that afternoon. Despite repeated requests of government, temple authorities and the priests, his schedule didn’t permit him a full darshan. This was entirely the president’s decision. There was no other factor at all,” tweeted Ashok Malik.
However, the entire incident has raised several questions on the security system of the temple. As per reports, devotees have to go through a metal detector to enter the premises, but if it is so how did the mentally unstable man enter the temple premises with the weapon.