Gujarat: Dalits to attempt entry in 15 temples, Mevani invited to join event

New Delhi: A Dalit rights organisation, Bhim Shakti Sena, has announced to hold a public temple entry event on January 19 in Gujarat. The first attempt of which will be held at Sumarpuri Gaushala Mandir in Sherpur village of Banaskantha.

A member of the organization, Kevalsinh Rathod, said the “samuhik mandir pravesh” will be attempted in 14-15 different temples across the state, quotes DNA.

According to him, many temples in Junagadh, Amreli, Bharuch, and Anand restrict the entry of Dalits. Swaminarayan temples in Junagadh also don’t allow entry of Dalits in the temples, Rathod added.

The Sumarpuri temple has been chosen first after a Dalit youth was denied entry into it.

“On January 8, Mahesh Parmar, a Dalit youth in the village decided to enter the temple. He was beaten up. We have filed an FIR and the cops have been unable to trace the three accused. We tried reasoning with the villagers but they are not allowing entry of Dalits,” said Rathod.

Different Dalit organisations will be gathered on January 19 to attempt the entry into the temple, he said.
After this we will also gain entry into other temples, he said.

Rathod also said that this is not the case with every Swaminarayan temple, but there are some of them that follow caste-based discrimination. The Dalit leader, Jignesh Mevani, was also invited to join the campaign through a public invitation, he said.