SALEM: In yet another blatant display of casteism, the traditional priest of the Athanur Amman Temple near Vepadai in Komarapalayam, Namakkal district, was sacked by the Gounder community following the marriage of the priest’s son with a Gounder community girl.
Pradip Raj, 22, the son of the priest Nagarajan, eloped with Yuvashree, his schoolmate, a week back, tied the knot and registered his marriage in Villupuram.
The trustees of the Athanur Amman temple and the Gounder community elders conducted a panchayat in which Nagaraj was condemned for betraying the community which employed his ancestors and ordered him to hand over Yuvashree in the temple. But the girl refused to go with the parents saying she was a major and was in her full senses as regards her decision to marry Pradip Raj.
The community bigots mounted pressure on the police but police expressed their limited role in the issue as it involved majors. Meanwhile, Nagaraj was relieved from his priesthood. The rented shops built on the temple lands which gave sustenance for the priests were shut down by the Gounder community.