2 Priests Hacked To Bits, 3rd Priest Suspected

Two Hindu priests were hacked to death Wednesday night, and their body parts partially burned, in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. A third priest, who’s gone missing, is a prime suspect.

“Unidentified miscreants raided the Balkhandi Devi temple … and after brutally hacking priests Ramcharan and Krishna Das to death, threw their bodies into the huge temple furnace used for cooking ‘bhandara’ food, and set it on fire by sprinkling kerosene oil,” [police superintendent] Rakesh Shanker said. …

Devotees found badly charred body parts strewn near the furnace with blood splattered all over the place at the ground floor of the temple when they reached the Balkhandi Devi temple for prayers at around 8 am on Thursday.

Oops, that's no bloodbath, that a scene from the Holi Festival

That’s no bloodbath, but a scene from the altogether more enjoyable Holi Festival

According to another police source,

“The killings took place while both the priests were sleeping on the roof of the temple. On Wednesday night, while Ramcharan was sleeping near the ‘matt’ of Lord Hanuman and Krishna Das close to the ‘matt’ of another deity, miscreants attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and chopped their body into pieces. They then threw the body parts into the furnace, sprinkled kerosene and set the fire.”

Shanker told the Times of India that

“Village sources have told us that it could be the handiwork of [fellow priest] Baladeen, who is missing since the incident. We are suspecting his involvement in the crime.”

[image via the Atlantic]