Three unidentified assailants allegedly attacked two priests and looted a temple at Balivali in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, an incident which came more than a month after the lynching of two sadhus in a village near here, police said on Friday.
The incident took place at around 12.30 am on Thursday when three armed men barged into Jagrut Mahadev Mandir and Ashram at Balivali under Vasai taluka, an official said.
The trio attacked the temple’s head priest, Sankaranand Saraswati, and his assistant and decamped with valuables worth Rs 6,800, he said.
The trio also ransacked the temple, the official said.
The two priests, who received minor injuries, somehow managed to free themselves from the clutches of the assailants, he said.
The main priest locked himself in one of the rooms of the ashram, while his assistant ran out of the premises, the official said.
An offence has been registered under section 394 (causing hurt while committing robbery) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the station house officer of the Virar police station said.
The attack on the priests came more than a month after the lynching of two sadhus and their driver by a mob in village Gadchinchale of Palghar district on April 16.
The three were dragged out of their car and beaten to death by the violent mob amid rumours of thieves roaming in the area during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, police had said.
The victims were on their way to Surat to attend a funeral when they were attacked.
More than 150 people have been arrested in connection with the mob attack.