Dalits of Sitapat village under Bandgonda police station are allegedly being ostracised by the affluent people of the village. Villagers claim they have also been "denied entry" into the lone temple of the village.
On Tuesday, the police registered a case of brawl against the affluent, eight days after the dalits of the village lodged a complaint.
According to one of the dalit villagers, the affluent have warned them not to enter the temple and even abused them. They were told, "Mandir pe tumhra haq nahi hai; yahaan dikhai na dena. (You don't have any right to enter the temple; do not dare to come here)."
However, the police denied that the dalits were banned from entering the temple and cited an old land dispute as the reason behind the issue.
"We have looked into the issue and found that dalits are neither ostracised nor banned from entering the temple. It is an old land dispute. There are some rules to visit the temple and no one is allowed in the grabhgrih (sanctum sanctorum) where they were demanding entry," said CSP Mhow, Arun Kumar Mishra.
The dalits are allegedly living in miserable conditions. They have to go to another village for getting their flour grinded and for other purposes.
The population of the village is about 1,000 out of which about 200 are dalits.
"We are living in terror for the last couple of weeks. The incident took place on August 4 and we lodged a complaint at the police station. The tehsildar came to our village and tried to pacify the affluent but they are still not allowing us to enter the temple," said a dalit villager requesting anonymity.
Another resident of the village told HT that the rich have issued a diktat that if anyone will give work to Dalits of the village, he will be socially boycotted.
"No one is helping us. Everyone is on their side. We are poor and cannot fight," said Yogesh who, along with other dalits, has lodged a complaint against the rich villagers.
On Tuesday, dalits of the village protested in front of the police station after which police registered a case under minor sections of IPC.