Dalit family penalized by Upper-caste Hindus for entering temple

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Ananthapur — A Dalit family was penalized by upper caste Hindus on Saturday for entering into the village temple and threatened them with “dire consequences” if they ever visit temple again, the incident happened in the Gooty Mandal of Ananthapur district of south-Indian state of Andra Pradesh.

Family of a dalit man Peddanna visited Sri Anjaneya Swamy temple at Bhrahmanapalli village, and as per their tradition when married women return from their parental house, they visit the temple with rice and other offerings. So Peddanna took his daughter-in-law to the temple.

When he entered the temple, upper caste Hindus stopped them and fined them 30,000 Indian Rupees (INR), and an additional 5000 INR was also fined.

Disheartened by the incident, Peddanna planned to commit suicide, however villagers stopped him when they spotted a pesticide bottle hiding on him.

Meanwhile, the police said the temple had erected a ‘dhwajastambham’ a month ago and, as per tradition, women were not allowed into it for 41 days. Since Peddanna and his daughter-in-law entered the temple on the 31st day, the temple management forced him to pay 5,000 INR out of the 30,000 INR to erect the flagpole.

Local communist party leaders and Human Rights activists raised the issue and said those involved in the incident should be booked.

A report by Human Rights Watch stated that ,lower caste Hindus (Dalits, Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Adivasis) has been facing discrimination, exclusion, and acts of communal violence. Despite Indian Government has provided stringent laws and policies for protection, but the laws are not being “faithfully” implemented by local authorities.

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