Orissa temple wall demolished
Authorities have demolished the wall to end the row between Dalits and upper castes over entry into the temple.india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 23:23 IST
The authorities on Friday demolished portion of a wall containing nine holes of Jagannath temple at Keradagarh in the coastal district of Kendrapada to end the row between the Dalits and the upper caste people over entry into the temple.
The administration will construct an iron grill to allow both Dalits and upper caste people to worship the deity from a distance, District Collector Kashinath Sahoo said.
A division bench of the Orissa High Court had on December 14 ruled that all Hindus had the right to enter any temple, irrespective of caste.
The administration will now build an iron grill after closing the holes so that both Dalits and upper caste people see the deity from a common platform.
"At least 3,000 Dalits of the district will file affidavits before the district collector on January 3, 2007 to embrace Buddhism," said Ashok Mallick, president of Republican Youth and Students Front (RPSF), in protest against the failure of the administration to facilitate their entry into the temple.
Although the administration has claimed that the latest step has the consent of both the Dalit community and the upper caste people some Dalit leaders have expressed their anger over the move.
"The Dalits have every right to enter the temple. Instead of helping them enter the temple the administration is building another obstacle," a Dalit leader Bhajamana Behera said.
It is a violation of the court directives, he said.