Four women were asked to pay a fine of Rs.1,000 for entering a temple by an upper caste community in Sigaranahalli village in Hassan district.
The Hindu reported that, the women were fined by the Vokkaliga community for having entered the Basaveshwara temple in the village for a special puja organised by Sri Basaveshwara Stree Shakti Sangha on August 31. The Sangha is a self-help group consisting of 20 members. The women, however, refused to pay the fine.
One of the four Dalit women, Thayamma, told The Hindu, "There were about nine women from the Vokkaliga community and four from Dalit families. Devaraja, a Vokkaliga, raised his voice opposing our entry into the temple. He said SCs are not allowed in the temple. I questioned him. He attempted to beat one of us. The next day "the upper caste" people in a meeting decided to impose a fine and purification of the temple"
This is not the first time the village has acted against the people belonging to the Dalit community.
Thayamma was denied permission by "the upper caste" to organise her daughter's wedding in the community hall, which was built by former H.D. Deve Gowda for the people, said The Hindu report.
District social welfare officer, N.R. Purushottam told the newspaper, "Restricting entry of Dalits into a temple or community hall was a violation of laws. I will get details from the people concerned and take appropriate action."