Updated: September 27, 2021 7:11:59 am
Within days of a Dalit family being fined Rs 25,000 after a three-year-old child entered a temple in Koppal district, a 24-year-old Dalit youth was fined Rs 11,000 for entering the premises of a temple in the same district.
The incident came to light only on Saturday when local police visited the village. According to police sources, a youth entered Mahalakshmi temple in Nagankal village under Karatagi taluk on September 16 around 9 am. The priest and a few other persons reportedly objected to the presence of the youth and fined him Rs 11,000. They claimed that the fine amount would be used to ‘purify’ the temple.
Nagankal police have registered a suo motu case in the matter. The superintendent of police, T Sreedhara, told the IndianExpress.com that they have registered a case and were probing the incident. A case was registered under Sections 504 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code and several sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. However, cops are yet to make any arrest in the case.
A senior police officer said that nine people, including the priest, Basavaraj, have been named in the incident. Police also said that such practices have become so entrenched that even the victims are afraid of seeking justice.
Suralkar Vikas Kishor, the deputy commissioner of Koppal district, said that they have hired a private agency to understand the ground reality and sensitise the population about such matters. As per the district administration, untouchability is still practised in 25-30 villages.
Sreedhara said that the district administration has started identifying the pockets where untouchability is still practised. “We are asking village heads, hotel owners and priests to take an oath to not practise untouchability.”
Meanwhile, five people were arrested for penalising a family after a three-year-old boy entered a temple in Koppal district. The boy belonged to the Dalit Channdasar community, while the five arrested persons are from the upper Ganiga caste.
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