Five arrested for ₹25,000 fine on Dalit family for entering temple

The alleged incident took place in Kushtagi taluk of Koppal district.   | Photo Credit: Santosh Sagar

Five people, including the priest of a local temple at Miyapur village in Kushtagi taluk of Koppal district, have been arrested after a Dalit family was fined ₹25,000 when a three-year-old child entered the temple.

Following a complaint by Balachandra Sanganal, Assistant Director of Social Welfare Department, Kushtagi, the police registered a First Information Report (FIR) under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of. Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, and Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code at Kushtagi police station late on Tuesday.

The police have arrested all the five people named in the complaint: Karakappa Pujari, Hanumagouda, Gavisiddappa Myageri, Virupakshagouda Myageri, and Sharanagouda, all residents of Miyapur village.

Later on Wednesday, T. Sridhar, Superintendent of Police, Koppal, confirmed registration of the FIR and the arrests.

Mr. Sanganal made it clear that he, as a government servant, had to lodge the complaint as appeals to Chandrashekhar, father of the three-year-old who had entered the temple, to file a police complaint went in vain.

As per the complaint, Mr. Chandrashekhar, 27, from the Chennadasa community which is classified under the list of Scheduled Castes, took his three-year-old son to a Maruteshwar temple in the village on September 4 to offer puja on the latter’s birthday.

The child entered the temple as it began to rain. Mr. Chandrashekhar also entered the temple to bring the child out, as members of the Chennadasa community were prohibited from entering the temple.

Karakappa Pujari, the priest of the temple, and Hanumagouda and Gavisiddappa Myageri, villagers, took objection to the entry of Mr. Chandrashekhar and his son into the temple.

They, along with Virupakshagouda Myageri and Sharanagouda, held a meeting of villagers on September 11 and concluded that the temple had become polluted because of the entry of the father and the son. They imposed the fine on Mr. Chandrashekhar and his wife, Lalitha.


Mr. Chandrashekhar did not file a complaint despite appeals from officials of the Revenue and Social Welfare Departments, and the police.

Government servants, including police officers, then held an awareness meeting in the village on September 18 and warned the people against the practice of untouchability.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 7:44:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/temple-entry-five-arrested-after-dalit-family-fined-in-koppal-district/article36614941.ece

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