On Tuesday night, an unidentified person sneaked into an ashram in Irala Mandal in Chittoor district and killed a 65-year old priest. The priest was strangled to death, according to the local police. No suspects have been identified as yet.
The priest, Sachidananda Swamy, administered an ashram in the village for the last three decades where he would give lectures on spirituality. He was widely addressed by the people of the village as ‘Swamiji’.
According to the Chittoor (Rural West) police, a 60-year old woman who worked alongside the Swamy for 10 years alleged that an unknown person came into the ashram at midnight and had killed the priest. She also told the police that he then tried to pursue her and she survived by hiding in thorny bushes till early morning the next day.
Amid rising attacks on Hindu temples, this incident is cause for additional concern. There were no CCTV cameras on the premises.