Man tries to set ablaze Shankaracharya math in Gujarat's Bharuch, threatens to behead priest

12:42 PM Mar 22, 2024 | PTI |

Bharuch: A man allegedly tried to set ablaze a Shankaracharya ‘math’ (monastic institution) in Bharuch town of Gujarat early on Friday and left behind a message threatening to harm its priest, said the police.


Following the incident, which was captured on a CCTV camera, police rushed to the spot and launched a probe to nab the culprit, said Bharuch district superintendent of police, Mayur Chavda.

The religious institution is located in the Navchowki Ovara area on the banks of the Narmada river.

“Around 5.30 am, a person threw some material on the door of the math in an attempt to set it ablaze. CCTV has captured the act. We have formed various teams to conduct a detailed investigation into the case. An FIR has also been registered in this regard,” Chavda told reporters.

In the footage, a person in black clothes and a white cap can be seen flinging something towards the math door. He then walks up to the door and sets it on fire.


Before setting the door ablaze, the unidentified man threw three to four pieces of paper towards the door. These papers had a handwritten message: “Gustakh Pir Ki Saza, Sar Tan Se Juda”, said another police officer who visited the premises after getting a call from the priest.

Math priest Muktanand Swami said he was on the premises at the time.

Swami informed reporters that the Shankaracharya Math and adjoining two temples come under Dwarka Sharda Peeth, which is among the four prominent ‘peeths’ or areas of learning established by the Aadi Sankaracharya.

“When I returned to my math after performing puja at the adjoining temple around 5 am, my neighbour Dilip Dave came running and informed me that a persons was throwing some material on the math’s door. That man then set ablaze the door, which I doused afterwards,” said the priest.

Swami said he did not see anyone outside on the street when he tried to find out who had set the door on fire.

“When I checked the CCTV footage, I learnt that a man entered the premises from the river bank and threw some material towards the math and temple. He also threw some pieces of paper towards the door. It was written ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ (reference to beheading) on those papers,” said Swami.


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