Lucknow: At least 50 Dalit families in Meerut threatened to convert to Islam after allegedly being stopped from installing a Goddess Kali idol in a local Shiva temple on Wednesday, the first day of Navratra.
The incident, reported from Inchauli’s Mussourie village in Uttar Pradesh, saw the families stage a protest at the district magistrate’s residence about some “goons” who threatened to thrash them if they tried to install the idol.
“We are Hindus. If we can’t put a goddess idol in a temple then where should we go? It's better to convert,” said Rajkumar, one of the protestors.
Another protestor, Kuldeep Kumar, called for action from the administration. “Nearly all the families who were denied installation of the idol of ‘Maa Kali’ will follow the same route if the district administration does not intervene soon.”
50 Dalit families in Meerut's Incholi threaten to convert after being allegedly denied to put Goddess Kali idol in the village temple by locals. Rajkumar, a protester says 'We are Hindus, if we can't put a goddess idol in a temple then where should we go? its better to convert' pic.twitter.com/TuiO0zglk4
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 11, 2018
The villagers also alleged that the people stopping them from installing the idol had captured the temple premises and were using it as a parking lot for their cars and tractors.
Meanwhile, the district administration is on its toes to bring the situation under control.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Additional District Magistrate (Enforcement) Ram Chandra said, “Protesters have alleged that they wanted to place an idol in the village temple and they were stopped by other locals. We will investigate the matter. I don't know about the religious conversion demand, the matter will be resolved.”
Protesters have alleged that they wanted to place an idol in the village temple and they were stopped by other locals. We will investigate the matter, I don't know about the religious conversion demand, matter will be resolved: Ramchandra,ADM(E). #Meerut pic.twitter.com/FWQtY7RKy0 — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 11, 2018