This comes after last week, when 250 Dalit families living in Nagapattinam district recently threatened to convert to Islam

TN village tense after Dalit and caste-Hindu groups spar over temple entry govt seals the templeNishanth Krish
news Caste Monday, August 01, 2016 - 08:47

TN village tense after Dalit and caste-Hindu groups spar over temple entry, govt seals the temple

A tense situation is prevailing at Silampur near Jayankondam in Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur district over differences between two communities in offering prayer at a local temple. The controversy has prompted Deena Kumari, revenue divisional officer of Udayarpalayam, to promulgate a police prohibitory order to avoid any unwarranted trouble on Sunday.

Police said that though the dispute between the two communities was pending before a competent court, following the representation by both the communities, the Ariyalur collector ordered the RDO Udayarpalayam to sort out the issue amicably.

Following this, the RDO, Udayarpalayam, officials of the HR & CE department and others went to the temple on Saturday and opened the temple for worship.

While a section of one community offered their prayers, the other group also entered into the temple and began offering their prayers.

Police  warned a few persons of the second group when they attempted to take pictures of the event and they were asked to leave the premises. The HR & CE department officials then closed and sealed the temple to avoid any fresh troubles, police added.

Last week, 250 Dalit families living in the Pazhangkallimedu and Nagapalli villages in Nagapattinam district recently threatened to convert to Islam, frustrated by their exclusion from a festival of the deity Bhadra Kaliamman. Although, caste Hindu authorities have subsequently agreed to allow them a day to celebrate their deity, the Dalit families still seem apprehensive about how far the agreement will hold.

The main demand of the Dalits is to perform Mandagapadi, that is, to lead the rituals on one day in the five-day annual temple festival. “Bhadra Kaliamman is our deity, whom we have been worshipping from generations. But now, we are not left with any other way than to convert to Islam,” said Senthil Kumar, district Union Secretary of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

Earlier, in 2015, the Dalit families approached the Nagapattinam court because the procession of the deity would not enter their streets. The court ordered the procession of the deity to pass through Dalit areas, but the caste Hindus do not still follow the court orders.r.


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