A Dalit man has allegedly been penalised Rs 500 for desecrating a temple’s purity in Pakpatlla village in Telangana’s Nirmal district. His ‘crime’ – walking into the temple shrine and offering prayers to the temple’s deity.
Shockingly, the fine was imposed by officials of the Village Development Committee (VDC).
According to reports, B Muthyam went to the village temple – the Grama Devatha Pochamma Thalli Gudi – on September 3, to offer prayers to the deity after recovering from an illness.
As there was no priest present, Muthyam entered the temple’s main shrine and conducted the ceremony himself.
This was noticed by a few villagers, who complained to the VDC. The VDC promptly took Muthyam to task, and allegedly levied a fine of Rs 500 on Muthyam for desecrating the temple’s ‘purity’. Muthyam’s repeated pleas that he had not committed any crime went unheard.
"I was fined Rs 500 because I am a Dalit. Is it a crime to enter a temple? God is one. But still caste system is so much prevalent. What has changed in so many years?" Muthyam was quoted as saying by CNN News18.
No police complaint has been filed in the case as yet. The Nirmal District Collector’s office and Soan Mandal Tahsildar Shiva Prasad also told TNM that they had not received any complaints or reports regarding the incident.
However, state Roads and Transport Minister Indrakiran Reddy, on hearing of the incident on Twitter, termed it “inhuman”. The Minister said that he has spoken to the concerned officials and directed them to probe the incident.
Ridiculous and inhuman. Have spoken to the concerned officials and has directed for an enquiry...— Indrakaran Reddy (@IKReddy_Nirmal) September 12, 2017