Dalit youngster in Karnataka fined Rs. 60,000 for touching local deity idoltext_fields
Kolar: A Dalit youngster in the Kolar district was fined Rs 60,000 in another case of caste prejudice in Karnataka after it was claimed that he entered the temple of the local deity, Bhootamma, and touched the idol. The incident took place in Ullerahalli in the Kolar district's Malur taluk. "Last week, the village deity was taken out in a procession, when the boy belonging to a Dalit community, touched Bhootamma's (village deity) idol," police officials told TNM.
The youngster and his family were then called and accused of "defiling" the idol by a few village residents and Gram Panchayat members.
The family members were allegedly pressured by local leaders into paying Rs 60,000 as a "penalty" for touching the idol.
"Although there is no ban on entering temples, members of Scheduled Caste communities in Ullerahalli avoid entering the temple, fearing a curse," the police official said. "The boy's mother is a daily wage worker and there is no way she can afford to pay such a huge sum," he said. Although the mother begged the Gram Panchayat members, they insisted that the family pay Rs 60,000 so that the idol could be "cleaned and purified."
The chairman of the state branch of the Dalit welfare organisation Ambedkar Seva Samithi, KM Sandesh, was informed of the situation and hurried to the area, according to the Times Of India. He demanded that the police take the necessary action against anyone pressuring the Dalit family to pay the fine. According to the terms of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, the Kolar police filed a suo moto complaint against the village elders and members of the Gram Panchayat on Wednesday, September 21.