After being hospitalised for almost a week, 68-year-old Devunoor Satyanarayana succumbed to injuries on Thursday. Satyanarayana was assaulted by a local imam allegedly over a feud to turn off the blaring speakers, which was played early in the morning. The incident took place in Telangana's Warangal district.
On October 26, Satyanarayana, a priest at Sai Baba temple near Pochamma Maidan junction, was performing pooja with the speaker turned on. Taking strong objection to this, a local imam, Syed Natiq, asked him to shut down the sound system. However, as the priest allegedly refused to oblige to his demand, Natiq started punching him. The assault stopped only after locals intervened, say the Matwada police.
The entire act was captured on the temple’s CCTV camera. With the help of locals, Satyanarayana was taken to MGM hospital. In the attack, the priest suffered grievous injuries and remained unconscious, reportedly due to internal bleeding, which he developed due to a ruptured liver and broken ribs.
The Matwada police had filed a case of attempt to murder against Natiq on the same day and took him under custody.
“We filed a case against Natiq and arrested him. We filed a case under section 307 IPC, which we will alter to punishment for murder,” said a police official from Matwada police station.
Reportedly, soon after the assault, the imam went into hiding. Agitated over the attack on the priest, local BJP leaders, including Urban district president Rao Padma Reddy, former MLA M Dharma Rao and others, staged a protest at Pochamma Maidan junction condemning the brutal attack and also demanding the arrest of the accused.
Despite the arrest, Padma Reddy suspected foul play by the police. She alleged that the accused seen in the CCTV video seemed different to the one arrested by police.