KASARGOD: A couple from the Mavilan tribe has accused the committee members of a temple in Periya of forcing them to purify the premises after they organised choroonu or first rice-eating ceremony of their daughter.
In their complaint to the district police chief, Prasad, a construction worker, and his wife Kumari said they held the ritual at Mahavishnu Kshetram at Kudanam, 3 km from Periya on October 20. “After the ceremony, the office secretary asked us to clean up the place and sprinkle cow dung water to purify the place,” said Prasad,31.
When asked if it was mandatory, the office-bearer insisted it was, he said. “We did as we were told thinking it was the practice. But later we found that only we were made to clean up the place and asked to sprinkle the cow dung because we were from the Mavilan community,” he said. He said he waited for a month to check if the temple made other community members to sprinkle cow dung water. “No one was told,” he said.
In his complaint, he sought action against the temple office-bearers alleging that they were practising caste discrimination and carrying on with outdated rituals. However, the office-bearers of the temple said there was no caste discrimination. “The choroonu ceremony is done in front of the sanctum sanctorum and so we ask all the families, irrespective of their caste to clean the place,” said temple executive committee member A K Suresh.
“It could be a misunderstanding,” he said. Moreover, the office secretary did not force the couple to clean up the place as alleged in the complaint, he said.
Nevertheless, the temple office-bearers said the executive committee would discuss the issue on January 6. They said action would be taken if there was any misdeed on the part of the office staff. Meanwhile, district police chief A Srinivas has handed over the case to the DySP of Special Mobile Squad, which looks into atrocities against Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.