Dalit family ‘penalised’ for entering temple

CPI(M) and Human Rights Forum seek action against the accused

A dalit family that went to the Sri Anjaneya Swamy temple at Bhrahmanapalli of Gooty mandal in the district was penalised allegedly by members of the forward caste of the village and threatened with “dire consequences” if it dared to visit again.

The incident, which took place on Saturday, came to light on Sunday after the head of the family, Peddanna, lodged a complaint with the Gooty police with the help of a few dalit leaders. SP B. Satya Yesubabu told The Hindu that an FIR was being filed. As per tradition, married women are presented rice (vadibiyyam) and other gifts once in three or five years when they visit their parents. In this case, on her return to the village with the gifts, Mr. Peddanna accompanied his daughter-in-law to the temple.

As per the written complaint given by Mr. Peddanna to Gooty CI Prabhakar, the village elders allegedly imposed a penalty of ₹30,000 and made him cough up ₹5,000. Mr. Peddanna allegedly tried to commit suicide following the incident. He reportedly went to Gooty on Sunday morning and was seen carrying a pesticide bottle with him by some acquaintances there.

Temple tradition

On being asked why he was carrying it, Mr. Peddanna reportedly confided in them as to what had happened the previous day. On knowing his plight, they took him to the police station, said Prasad, a dalit leader.

Meanwhile, the police said the temple had erected a ‘dhwajastambham’ a month ago and, as per tradition, women were not allowed into it for 41 days. As Peddanna and his daughter-in-law entered the temple on the 31st day, the temple management had asked him to pay ₹5,000 out of the ₹30,000 spent for erection of the flagpole, the police added.

CPI(M) district secretary V. Rambhupal and Human Rights Forum (HRF) member Subbanna said those involved in the incident should be booked.

Stating that such incidents were common in Gooty mandal, they said that the police and revenue departments failed to bring awareness among the people on the need to give up such practices as recommended by the Justice Punnaih Commission. A similar incident was reported at Kishtupadu of the same mandal two years ago, they added.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 5:10:18 AM |

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