Kanpur: In yet another instance of discrimination on the basis of caste, a temple priest chased out all the Dalits, who came to attend Akhand Ramayan path.
The incident happened in Maudaha area of Hamirpur district, where Kunwar Bahadur Singh forced all the Dalits out of Ram Janki temple’s premises. Out of the devotees, many of them were children who had come to recite the Ramayana at the temple in Garha village, which is around 10 km away from Maudaha.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, Maudaha SDM Suresh Mishra said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident.
“I am waiting for the report from the revenue department. Only then the action will be taken,” he said.
However, Bahadur Singh maintained, that he will not allow Dalits into the premises. “The temple belongs to my family, I will not allow Dalits to enter the temple,” he said. The temple has been holding the daily recital of the Ramayana for the last two weeks.
Uma Shankar Shrivas said they were shocked to see the sign on the gate which read ‘Dalits are not allowed inside’. “My nephew and his friend went to the temple for the ‘path’ this morning, the priest stopped them from getting inside,” he said.
The priest then brought down the signboard under pressure but made it clear that Dalits would no longer have access. The people approached the SDM who sent local authorities to inquire. The SDM also asked Silosar police to be alert as tension continues to simmer.
The village leader Ram Sajeevan said he was shocked by the announcement. “It has happened for the first time. This act of priest has brought a bad name to the entire village,” he said. The village has a population of 5,000, out of which 30% are Dalits.