In a quick resolve, Botad police, Saturday, apprehended priest Mahendra Singh Rawat as the prime accused in the murder of fellow mahant Pratap Singh at the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple at Garhada.
The little town was jolted awake on Friday after word spread of a dead body found within the temple precincts. Within hours, it was confirmed that the deceased was Pratap Singh Sindhano, the high priest at the temple. The suspicious nature of the discovery led the gathered crowd to call in the police. On receiving information, the police rushed to the spot and sealed the room. The case was entrusted to the district DSP, who sought assistance from the LCB and SOG cells.
Close on trail of the case and after questioning several people, the police narrowed in the suspects. “Mahendra Singh and the victim had fallen out over a recent spar. A few months ago, the temple management decided to send Mahendra Singh to the US to further the Trust’s work. However, using his clout, Pratapsinh managed to change the choice to his son instead. Obviously, Mahendra felt slighted,” briefed a police insider on the case details.
The case was solved within a day with one Premjibhai Golkeya, piecing together the timeline of events. “He is among the housekeeping staff and saw Mahendra Singh near the victim’s room early Friday morning,” added the officer. The ghastly act was perpetrated using an iron pipe as a weapon to beat the victim on his head.
The accused has been taken into custody and booked under Sections 302 and 135.