Imam arrested in beating Priest

Warangal: A 68-year-old priest of Sai Baba temple near PochammaMaidan junction was beaten up by the imam, Syed NatiqHussaini of LB Nagar Masjid after the two argued over the use of the temple loudspeaker.

According to the police, the priest, MrDevunoorSatyanarayana, was preparing for puja early in the morning when the imam went to the templeand demanded to shut down the loudspeaker which was playing the ‘suprabhatham’. When the priest refused, the imam started punching him. The incident was caught in CCTV cameras inside the temple.

When the people heard the argument, they rushed to the spot. A flower vendor stopped the imam and with the help of locals, the priest was shifted to the MGM hospital. Doctors said the priest had sustained internal bleeding due to ruptured liver and broken ribs. He was responding to the treatment but is yet to gain complete consciousness.

After news of the quarrel spread, BJP activists held a rastaroko at PochammaMaidan junction and demanded the arrest of the imam. NatiqHussaini went missing after the incident, but was tracked down by the police by the evening and taken into custody.

Warangal Urban BJP district president Rao Padma said they were not sure if the police had got the right person as there was a difference between the man seen in the CCTV footage and the person being shown by the police.

“When similar incidents took place in other temples, the police showed a mentally challenged person as the accused. We are not convinced the police has got the right person this time,” she said