Karnataka Dalit man forced to spend 11k on feast for entering temple

Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:38 AM IST

Bengaluru: A 24-year-old Dalit man was forced to offer a feast worth ₹11,000 allegedly as a punishment for entering a temple in north Karnataka’s Koppal district, weeks after five people were arrested for a similar incident in the district, police officials said

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Bengaluru: A 24-year-old Dalit man was forced to offer a feast worth 11,000 allegedly as a punishment for entering a temple in north Karnataka’s Koppal district, weeks after five people were arrested for a similar incident in the district, police officials said.

T Shreedhar, the superintendent of police, Koppal, said the incident took place on September 14, but it came to light on Friday when the man was forced to offer the feast as a punishment. Police said the incident was reported from Lakshmi Devi temple at a village in Karatagi taluk of the district.

According to the senior officer, after a theft was reported in the village some time ago, the temple’s priests restricted the entry only to themselves. “The Dalit man had made a vow to conduct some prayers in the temple and on September 14, he entered the temple. When the priests came to know about this on Friday, they demanded that he must make amends by offering a feast,” said the officer.

Police said based on the information from the man, they have registered a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). So far, eight people have been detained for questioning in the case, a police officer said, adding further probe was on.

In a similar incident on September 4, parents of a Dalit boy were fined 23,000 after their 2-year-old son entered a Hanuman temple on his birthday at Miyapura village near Hanumasagar in the same district.

According to people aware of the incident, Dalits in the village are not allowed inside the temples and they only pray from outside.

Police had said that the man wanted to pray from outside the temple. However, the toddler in excitement ran inside the temple, after which the temple authorities leveled a fine of 23,000. Upon receiving the information regarding the incident, the police registered a case and arrested five people.

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