No plan by Dalits in TN village to embrace Islam: Authorities

No Dalit family in Kallimedu village here has planned to embrace Islam following refusal of permission to them by upper caste Hindus to perform rituals during a temple festival, the district administration today asserted.

There were reports that following denial of permission to the Dalits by caste Hindus to conduct rituals at the ancient Badrakaliyamman temple, coming under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Departments, at Kallimedu during the Tamil month of Adi, the Dalits had planned to embrace Islam.
A R A Jayaraj, Revenue Divisional Officer of Nagapattinam, who conducted a spot inquiry at the village on the reports, said the Dalit families had stated that they have not taken any decision on converting to Islam.

“The Dalit families had categorically pointed out that the reports about their alleged plan to convert to Islam were only rumours,” Jayaraj told PTI.

Vedaranyam DSP Pon Karthik Kumar, Tahsildar Ilangovan and Hindu Religious Charitable Endowment Executive Officer Manavalan were also present during the spot inquiry, Jayaraj said.

People belonging to a particular Hindu community of this village and two other neighbouring villages act as the custodians for the five day festival beginning on August 8.

Over 200 Dalit families of this village have long been claiming the rights to perform rituals during the festival.

Ahead of the festival, a few days back, Dalit families reiterated their long pending demand.

Following this, alarge number of police personnel have been deployed at the village as a precautionary measure, Jayaraj said.

He said the Joint Commissioner of HR and CE would hold talks with the leaders of the Dalits and various Hindu organisations tomorrow to find an amicable solution to the issue and ensure peaceful conduct of the festival.