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Archarya Gopal Maniji Maharaj alias Gopal Maharaj is a Hindu nationalist priest from Jharkhand. He is the katha vachak (preacher) of the Bharatiya Gau Kranti Manch, a cow vigilante group that targets Muslims on suspicion of consuming or trading beef.
In his religious sermons, Gopal was highly vocal against the cattle trade and cow slaughter. After his sermons, his followers would paint walls exhorting people to hang beef eaters.
In 2016, Gopal’s name figured out as accused of inciting hatred against Muslims, which led to the killing of two Muslims, Mazlum Ansari, 32, and Imteyaz Khan, 13, who were heading to an animal fair with a herd of cattle when they were lynched and hanged from a tree by a mob in Jharkhand’s Balumath.