Heggunje Gram Panchayat president Asha Marati said on Wednesday that she had not been invited to the inauguration of the fifth Yakshagana mela of Durgaparmeshwari Temple at Mandarti because she was a Dalit (Scheduled Tribe) woman.

Ms. Marati told presspersons that the temple, which was under the Department of Muzrai, came under the Heggujne Gram Panchayat. The inauguration of the fifth Yakshagana mela of the temple was scheduled at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

She said that the authorities of the temple had invited J. Krishna Palemar, Higher Education Minister, Kundapur MLA, and the zilla panchayat members for the function, but not her.

Executive Officer of the temple N.S. Doddamani told The Hindu over the telephone that the decision had been taken by the Management Committee of the temple. “I will look into the matter”, he said.

Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha said: “I will ask for an explanation from the Management Committee”.

Managing trustee of the Durgaparmeshwari Temple H. Dhananjaya Shetty said: “We have given invitation to Ms. Marati for the function. We have not been publishing the names of gram panchayat members in invitations.”

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