Self-sacrifice whiff in death

A college student who spent hours in secret late-night rituals died on Monday morning, shortly after being found writhing on the floor of the temple where he prayed every day, amid suspicions that the 18-year-old may have wielded an axe on himself.

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 11.09.18
  •  

Lucknow: A college student who spent hours in secret late-night rituals died on Monday morning, shortly after being found writhing on the floor of the temple where he prayed every day, amid suspicions that the 18-year-old may have wielded an axe on himself.

A police officer said Aniruddh Yadav, resident of Utwa village in Barabanki district, Uttar Pradesh, had cut marks on the back of his neck but added that only a thorough probe would reveal whether it was a case of suicide or murder.

"There are several cut marks on the back of his neck. The villagers claimed that the youth had hit himself with an axe in the course of sacrificing himself to appease the goddess. The axe was found from the spot. But a thorough inquiry would be done before I say anything with confirmation," Barabanki police chief V.P. Srivastava said.

Aniruddh's relatives said the BA first-year student of a local college was heard moaning from within the temple to goddess Durga where he had shut himself in.

Villagers broke open the door of the temple, about a kilometre away from the village, to find the teen on the blood-drenched floor. They rushed him to a local hospital where the student was declared brought dead.

Some villagers said Aniruddh had prayed every evening at the temple in neighbouring Kotwadham for the past year and would return at 2am for the secret rituals, where even the temple priest was not allowed, before leaving around three hours later.

"I thought it was a phase of his life and he would soon start focusing on his education," Aniruddh's father Swami Nath Yadav, a farmer, told reporters. "We didn't know he was preparing to take such a strange step."

Aniruddh, the younger of two siblings, was Yadav's only son.

Srivastava, the police officer, said Aniruddh's relatives had told the police that he spent a lot of time in the temple and conducted rituals. "They did not allow the police to take the body for post mortem. I have sent some police officers to the village to convince them that a post mortem is a must because the death was unnatural."

Uma Shankar Singh, station house officer of Ramsanehi Ghat, one of the officers Srivastava had sent to Utwa, said the entire village" was against a post mortem".

"The final decision would be taken by senior officers," Singh said.