BJP MP booked for misbehaving with temple priests

BJP MP Dharmendra Kashyap booked for misbehaving with priests at Uttarakhand temple

The incident drew sharp reactions from opposition parties, who termed it an insult to the priests and the 'Devbhoomi'

Uttar Pradesh BJP MP Dharmendra Kashyap. Credit: Facebook/dharmendrakashyap24aonla

A case has been registered against BJP MP from Aonla in Uttar Pradesh Dharmendra Kashyap and his associates in Uttarakhand's Almora district for allegedly creating a ruckus at the Jageshwar Dham temple and misbehaving with the priests, officials said on Monday.

This comes a day after a video purportedly showing Kashyap and his associates engaging in a heated argument with the temple priests went viral on social media.

Facing criticism from opposition parties, the state BJP said it is gathering details of the incident and will apprise the central leadership of it.

"The FIR has been registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code against the MP (Dharmendra Kashyap) and his friends," Sub-Inspector Gopal Singh Bisht said.

Kashyap and his associates visited the temple on Saturday afternoon to perform a puja. The temple is closed for visitors after 6 pm every day in compliance with the Covid guidelines. However, the MP and his friends stayed inside the temple even after 6.30 pm, Jageshwar Dham Mandir Samiti manager Bhagwan Bhatt said.

When the MP and his associates were requested to leave, he got angry and began abusing the priests and misbehaving with them. Some of the priests were even pushed, he alleged.

The incident drew sharp reactions from opposition parties, who termed it an insult to the priests and the 'Devbhoomi'.

State Congress chief Ganesh Godiyal said the insult of priests will not be tolerated and that this incident reflects Kashyap's arrogance.

Senior Congress leader and Jageshwar MLA Govind Singh Kunjwal staged a sit-in, demanding a public apology from Kashyap for insulting the priests. He also sought action against the BJP MP.

Congress and Aam Aadmi Party workers also burnt effigies of the BJP at a number of places to protest Kashyap's misconduct.

State BJP chief Madan Kaushik said details of the incident are being gathered and the party's central leadership will be informed about it.