New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday arrested seven people in connection with the attack on a temple priest in Gonda district, who was shot at and taken to the hospital last week. However, the police found that Mahant Sitaramdas, the sarpanch (village head), along with the injured priest, Atul Tripathi alias Samrat Das, had hatched a ‘conspiracy’ to carry out a “fake” attack to frame his rivals. Also Read - After Tamil Nadu & Madhya Pradesh, UP to Now Provide Free Corona Vaccine to All Its Residents

“Mahant Sitaramdas was the mastermind of the plan,” the police said, adding that Sitaramandas and six others have been arrested in the case for attempted murder. Also Read - Good News For Liquor Lovers in UP: They Can Now Buy Alcohol From 10 AM to 10 PM

The police also recovered country-made revolvers, seven live cartridges, one empty cartridge and a mobile phone from the accused-arrested. Also Read - NEET 2020: UP Scrap Dealer's Son Clears Medical Entrance Test in 9th Attempt | Read His Story

The incident took place on the intervening night of October 10 at Ramjanaki temple near Itiyathok police station and is currently at the King George’s Medical College Hospital in Lucknow.

In the preliminary investigation, the police had said that the priest was shot at over a land dispute between the former village head Amar Singh and Mahant Sitaramdas. It was later revealed that the rivalry also had political affiliations as Mahant Sitaramdas and current gram pradhan Vinay Singh had planned the attack to frame Amar Singh in the serious matter.

Sitaramandas had also filed a case against four people, of whom two had been arrested. They will be released soon.

The incident caused immense criticism against the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh which has already been under the scanner for lack of law and order since the Hathras case.