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Dalit woman denied temple entry; priest arrested

Dalit woman denied temple entry; priest arrested

Bhopal: A priest was arrested while two others were booked in Madhya Pradesh after a Dalit woman was denied entry into a temple on Mahasivaratri on March 1, The Indian Express reported.

The entry denial came to public attention after a video surfaced in which the woman asked people and the priest to allow her inside the temple. Even though the woman, identified as Pooja Khande, told those around that she would inform the police, she wasn't allowed in.

She told media later that the priest said that Harijan cannot enter the temple or have the right to offer puja but should pray from outside. He also said that he wanted to check the case with his chief, she said and added that the crowd around, who seemed educated and aware, did nothing but stop her entry. She asked why her community could not offer puja and whether it was written in the constitution. She also asked who the head of the priest's community is to make such rules. Khande noted that it was not an isolated incident. There is discrimination against her caste, like untouchability and even not allowing them to use common paths.

Police informed that the case was registered on the woman's complaint registered under section 505 (promoting enmity between two groups) and three other sections of the SC/ST Act. While three people were booked, the priest Vjay Barvey, among them, has been arrested, police said. Police added that Khande was later taken to the temple, with revenue officers and police, and was allowed to do the puja.

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TAGS:#DiscriminationDalitpriest arrested
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