A 70-year-old maulvi, Mohammad Younus, was shot dead by four unidentified persons when he intercepted them after they threw a piece of meat on the premises of the mosque, in Naseerpur village of Mau district, late on Thursday night.
Younus was the maulvi of the mosque where he was killed, police said.
The murder enraged the locals and sparked tension in the village. They calmed down after police assured them speedy action in the case.
Police said the assailants had come on two motorbikes and threw a piece of meat on the premises of the mosque. Younus and one Mohammad Jabbar, who had just offered prayers, were present there and took on the miscreants. The assailants then opened fire on them. Younus died on the spot but Jabbar escaped unhurt.
Hearing the gunshots, locals rushed to the spot but the miscreants had fled by then. The locals then informed the police.
Circle officer Pankaj Singh, along with a heavy police force, reached the spot and took body the body for post mortem.
Singh said a case had been registered against unidentified assailants and teams had been deployed to arrest them. “Heavy police force and provincial armed constabulary (PAC) personnel were deployed in the village to control the situation,” Singh said.
District magistrate Rishirendra Kumar and superintendent of police Abhishek Yadav also visited the village and took stock of the situation.
Kumar recommended Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to the family of the deceased from the chief minister’s discretionary fund. Appealing to locals to maintain peace, the DM said those involved in the incident will not be spared.