Dalit Man Fined for Entering Temple in Karnataka's Tumkur, Alleges Boycott, Intimidation by Village Council
However, the village council denied the allegation of socially boycotting the Dakit man and his family.
Image for representation.
Bengaluru: A dalit man in Karnataka’s Tumkur district of Karnataka was allegedly fined for entering a temple in his village that ‘does not allow entry to those belonging to the scheduled castes. Jagadish MS had entered the Doddamma temple in Mallekavu village in Tumkur on May 20 with his family.
He was reportedly sent out of the temple, grilled by the 'village council' and a fine of Rs 25,000 was slapped on him.
"They asked me to pay Rs. 25,000 and get the temple painted, offer poojas as part of a purification ritual. One part of the temple was left out. These villagers then started abusing me and threatening me and my family," Jagadish said.
Jagadish filed a complaint with the police on June 3 alleging that the upper-castes of the village had boycotted him and his family.
"I have not come near the village after that. Our lives are threatened,” he added.
An FIR has been registered against nine people in the village including two priests of the temple.
"Traditionally, those belonging to the Scheduled Caste don't enter this temple. Legally they can, but it is against the traditions. When Jagadish entered, we found out and he admitted it before the village council. He agreed to do whatever it takes to rectify his mistake. He said he did not want to go against the rules of the village as he lives here,” said Raveendra Naik, one of the members of the village council. He denied boycotting or threatening Jagadish’s family.
A case has been registered for insulting, criminal intimidation and under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In 2018, too, a scuffle had broken out at the temple when Dalits were stopped from entering the premises.
This village falls under the SC reserved Koratagere Assembly constituency represented by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara.
(With inputs from Vittal in Tumkur.)
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