Karnataka police on Saturday, 25 September, detained eight persons, including a temple priest, after they forced a Dalit man to spend Rs 11,000 as fine to offer a feast, Superintendent of Police T Sreedhara told news agency PTI.
The man, belonging to one of the Scheduled Castes, was fined for entering a temple at Karatagi in Koppal district of Karnataka.
Police File FIR Against the Accused
According to a report in The Hindu, the police have also filed a suo moto first information report against the eight accused – the priest Basavaraj Badiger and villagers Revanayyaswamy, Shekharappa, Sharanappa, Prashant, , Durgesh and Kadappa Nayak.
All of them have been booked under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 and Sections 504, 149 of the Indian Penal Code.
Further investigations in the case are on, police said.
What Had Happened?
The incident came to light on 24 September but reportedly took place on 14 September.
On that day, the 24-year-old man had entered Mahalakshmi temple in Naganakal village and carried out some pujas.
When the priest of the temple and villagers came to know about this, they began protesting and asked the man to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh to hold rituals and pujas for purifying the temple, that they claimed had become 'impure' after the Dalit man's entry.
Subsequently, he was asked to provide a feast at a cost of Rs 11, 000.
According to the police, the seniors in the village had taken a decision to allow only the priest inside the temple after a theft took place there a few months ago. However, as the man entered it, ignoring the village's rule, they fined him.
The incident comes on the heels of another on 4 September, where a Dalit family from Chenna Dasar community was tortured and asked to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 after their two-year-old son entered the temple in Miyapur village in Koppal district of Karnataka.
A total of five persons were arrested in that case.
(With inputs from PTI and The Hindu.)
. Read more on India by The Quint.Dalit Man in Karnataka Fined Rs 11,000 for Entering Temple; 8 People BookedBharat Bandh: Amid Nationwide Protests, SKM Says 'Unprecedented Response' . Read more on India by The Quint.