AYODHYA: Sadhus in Ayodhya have forcefully condemned the brutal lynching of 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq by a strong mob that gathered in Bisada village reportedly after a loudspeaker announcement in Bada Mandir on Monday that said that Akhlaq and his family were storing and eating beef in their house.

Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir, said “It is a crime against humanity and it is very sad. Such an incident should not happen anywhere in the country. Perpetrators of the crime must be punished.”

Mahant Bhav Nath Das, a prominent Sadhu of Ayodhya and chief priest at the Hanuman Garhi temple, said, “We the Sadhu-Sants of Ayodhya stand in support of the Muslim community of the country. We want to ensure the Muslim brothers not to be scared of a handful of fascist forces. It is time now for the complete elimination of such communal forces.”

Mahant Bindu Gadyacharya, the chief priest of Bara Sthan Mandir at Ayodhya, “When we heard about it, we arranged a special prayer in our temple for the deceased Mohammad Akhlaq. Those who have committed this barbarous act have not only defamed the tolerant and liberal Hindu religion, but also brought a bad name for the country in the rest of the world.”

Raghunandan Das, a young Sadhu associated with Saryu Kunj Mandir, giving a strong reaction. He said, “It is not only a killing of a person, but a total collapse of the social values taught to us over time. Who can we blame for this? Is the government responsible, or the society, that is the question?”

Mahant Yugal Kishore Sharan Sahstri said, “To show solidarity towards the minority community, we will take out a ‘Yatra’ from Ayodhya to Dadri and also to give a message to communal forces that we are united and against all such violent acts.”