Tension after Dalits banned from a temple in Kanpur
A ban on the entry of Dalits into the Ram Janki temple in Maudaha area of Hamirpur district has sparked tension.
The temple priest, Kunwar Bahadur Singh forced all the Dalits, who came to attend the Akhand Ramayan path, out of the temple premises.
Many among them were children who had come to recite the Ramayana at the temple in Garha village, some 10 km away from Maudaha.
Maudaha SDM Suresh Mishra said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident. “I am waiting for the report from the revenue department. Only then the action will be taken,” he said.
But Bahadur Singh remains steadfast that he will not allow Dalits into the temple. “The temple belongs to my family, I will not allow Dalits to enter the temple,” he said.
The temple has been holding the daily recital of the Ramayana for the last two weeks.
Uma Shankar Shrivas said they were shocked to see the board on the temple gate which reads ‘Dalits are not allowed inside’. “My nephew and his friend went to the temple for the ‘path’ this morning, the priest stopped them from getting inside,” he said.
The priest eventually took down the board under pressure but made it clear that Dalits would no longer have access. The people then approached the SDM who sent local authorities to inquire. The SDM also asked Silosar police to be alert as tension continues to simmer.
The village headman Ram Sajeevan said he was shocked about the announcement. “It has happened for the first time. This act of priest has brought a bad name to the entire village,” he said. The village has a population of 5,000 and 30% are Dalits.
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