Dalit Woman Stopped From Entering Temple; Priest Held

Story Highlights
  • A priest was arrested on Thursday for stopping a Dalit woman from entering the temple.
  • The incident came to light after a video emerged in the social media.
  • A Case under SC/ST Atrocities Act has been registered.

Khargone: A priest has been arrested for preventing a 31-year-old Dalit woman from entering a Shiv temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district on the occasion of Mahashivratri, police said. A case has been registered against 3 people including priest Shankar Pujari, Manju Patidar and an unidentified woman, under section 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of IPC and under relevant sections of the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act, according to Siddharth Chaudhary, superintendent of police, Khargone.

All of them are residents of Temla village. The priest has been arrested and both the women are absconding, he added. The incident happened on the occasion of Mahashivratri but the local police took action after a video of the incident went viral on social media on Thursday. In the video, the three could be heard abusing the woman for her caste.Khande, who is studying for her BA second year, said she didn’t do anything for publicity but she fought for her rights. “I don’t want to say anything more than this,” she added. This is not the first incident when members of the scheduled caste have been stopped from entering the temple.

 Last year in Indore, 9 people were booked for stopping a Dalit groom from entering a temple. Dalit rights activist, Sunil Astay, said, “The incidents of atrocities and discrimination against the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people are increasing by the day. In many temples in Malwa, Nimar and Bundelkhand region, the entry of Dalits is banned. We are fighting against this social evil but the state government should also take strict action against it to save the rights of scheduled caste and tribe people.”

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