Dalits made to pray before locked temple

Dalit activists protest in Sigaranahalli. Photo: Special Arrangement  

In what was described by Dalit leaders as “adding insult to injury”, officials took some members of the community to the Basaveshwara temple in the district on Saturday, only to make them offer prayers in front of its locked doors.

A district official, journalists and policemen were injured on Friday in violence by upper caste people, who opposed the entry of Dalits into the temple at Sigaranahalli, in Holenarsipur taluk, to participate in the Durga Parameshwari Jatra Mahotsava. The temple was closed after Dalits entered it with the help of the district administration in September 2015. It was reopened on March 25 after “purification” rituals.

“The matter has been peacefully settled,” said Umesh H. Kusugal, Deputy Commissioner of Hassan, when contacted by The Hindu. He said upper caste people did not oppose the decision to take Dalits to the temple.

Ironically, Saturday’s event happened in the presence of Holenarsipur MLA H.D. Revanna. “In the guise of taking Dalits into the temple, the administration is practising untouchability. Our people were not taken inside, but were made to stand outside the temple doors. The Deputy Commissioner and the MLA should be held responsible,” said Vijay Kumar, a resident of the Dalit colony.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 10:25:29 PM |

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