A foot soldier of the Ayodhya movement, Ramnarayan Das, 65, who had alleged a threat to his life from a section of BJP leaders, was murdered yesterday.The priest was mobbed by at least 12 assailants who rained blows on him with lathis and rifle butts till he collapsed, bleeding. He died later in hospital.
Ramnarayan feared for his life because he had admitted to police that he, along with others, had brought down the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, at the behest of senior BJP leaders.
The priest was also alleged to be involved in the removal of Ram Lalla’s idol from the disputed site. A case is pending against him and four others. The idol of Ram Lalla installed in 1949 had been removed a few days before the demolition.
The original chief priest, Lal Das, had been ousted in the late eighties because he was against the hysteria kicked up by the Sangh parivar for demolition of the Babri Masjid. He was replaced by two priests — Satyendra Das and Ramnarayan.
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