Lucknow, Aug 16: Two sadhus were beaten to death and another seriously injured inside a temple in Auraiya district. The injured sadhu is still in a critical condition, said reports.  Enraged at the killings, a mob set shops ablaze and pelted stones, forcing police to fire in the air on Wednesday, said PTI. The situation was brought under control but there was a heavy deployment of security personnel to maintain law and order, they said. (Also read: Four Kanwariyas Killed in Road Accident) Also Read - Pieces of Meat Found Outside Two Temples in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, Triggers Outrage

The motive behind the crime was not clear, though police suspected the victims’ opposition to cow slaughter could be a reason. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed Principal Secretary (Home) and the state DGP to ensure the case was worked out within 48 hours. He has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the two deceased and Rs 1 lakh for the injured sadhu, an official spokesman. Lajja Ram (65) and Halke Ram (53), residents of Bakewar, Etawah, were found with multiple stab wounds on their necks and other body parts inside the Bhayanak Nath temple in Kudarkot area under Bidhuna police station. The third priest, Ramsharan (56), was also found with serious injuries. Also Read - 'Coolest CM': Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma Rocks the Internet With His Rendition Of Iron Maiden's 'Wasted Years' | Watch



Lajja Ram and Halke Ram were declared dead upon arrival at the hospital while Ramsharan was shifted to Saifai hospital, said police. “The incident took place around 3 AM, when three ‘sadhus’ (Hindu monks) were attacked by unidentified men,” said Auraiya Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Saxena. “They (sadhus) were tied to a charpoy and attacked. Two of them were killed,” Bidhuna Circle Officer Bhaskar Verma said. “People were complaining that the area where the murders took place was witnessing cases of cow slaughter and the victims were opposing it. That could be a possible motive behind the attack,” the IG said. Two cops have reportedly been suspended. Auraiya is around 180 km from Lucknow and falls under Kanpur police zone. Also Read - Library Under Thar Desert? One of Asia's Biggest Treasure Trove of Knowledge Lies Beneath Rajasthan Temple