JANGAON: In yet another incident of caste discrimination in the State, a Dalit family was denied entry into the Hanuman Temple, situated near Ganeshwada in Jangaon town on Friday, by the priest of the place of worship.
Meanwhile, the scene escalated quickly and tension prevailed near the temple for some time after scores of people belonging to Dalit communities, on learning about the incident, reached the temple and staged a protest in front of it demanding action against the priest, Gangu Anjaneya Sharma.
Speaking to the media, Lakkapalli Bhaskar, the victim who stays nearby the temple, said that Gangu Anjaneya Sharma refused to perform prayers when he, along with his family members, visited the temple on Friday.
“The incident happened when we reached the temple and requested the priest to perform some special prayers in the name of my son. Soon after seeing us, the priest asked us our caste. When I told him that we belong to the Madiga community, Gangu Anjaneya Sharma, adamantly, said that he won’t perform prayers for us. The priest did not just stop there. He abused us and demanded that we leave the premises claiming that Dalits are not allowed to enter the temple. It was then that he saw my wife washing her legs in the temple premises. The priest got so furious that he shouted at us and asked us to leave,” an irate Bhaskar told the media.
Soon after learning about the incident, scores of people, belonging to Dalit communities, flocked to the temple premises and staged a protest. However, the police reached the spot immediately and brought the situation under control. Speaking to Express, Jangaon police inspector D Mallesh said that they have taken the temple priest into custody. “A case has been registered and we are collecting statements from the witnesses now,” Mallesh added.