India: Dalit family fined Rs23,000 after their son enters temple
Koppal (Karnataka): The parents of a Dalit (lower caste) boy were fined Rs23,000 (Dh1,147) after their two-year-old son entered a Hanuman temple to seek blessings of the god at Miyapura village near Hanumasagar in Koppal district of Karnataka.
The toddler was taken to the temple by his father on his birthday. As Dalits are not allowed into the temple, they pray standing outside.
However, the boy in excitement ran into the temple. The incident, that took place on September 4, turned into a big issue as upper caste villagers believed that the temple was desecrated. They held a meeting on September 11 and asked the parents to pay Rs23,000 as fine that will be used to carry out purification rituals in the temple.
However, when the district administration came to know about the incident, they sent police, revenue and social welfare department officials to the village. The officers conducted an awareness programme with regard to untouchability for all villagers.
The officers took members of the upper caste to task for imposing a fine on the Dalit boy’s parents and let them off after warning that legal action will be initiated if they repeat this.
T. Sridhar, Superintendent of Police, Koppal, told IANS that he had visited the spot. The culprits were admonished. They apologised to the father of the boy. Though the police went to the house of the victim to convince him to lodge a complaint, the community elders decided not to do so as it will breed animosity.
“The people from upper caste themselves opposed the action of the members of their own community and apologized to the Dalit boy’s family,” he explained.