The police in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district have booked over 100 persons in two separate cases pertaining to temple entry for Dalits, PTI reported on Sunday.
One of the incidents reportedly took place in the Chhapra village on Saturday, where a group of persons had visited a temple on the Hindu festival of Mahashivratri. Members of the Dalit community alleged that some upper-caste residents of the village stopped them from entering a Shiva temple, according to NDTV.
“There was heavy stone pelting from both sides,” Sub Divisional Officer of Police Vinod Dixit said. “Complaints have been taken from both the parties and action will be taken.”
A man from the Dalit community, Premlal, filed a complaint alleging that a group led by a man from the Gurjar community, Bhaiya Lal Patel, prevented Dalit girls from entering the temple. Based on the complaint, the police filed a case against 17 named persons and 25 unidentified persons.
The first information report has been filed under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The police also filed a case against 33 named persons, including Premlal, and 25 unidentified persons for allegedly attacking the villagers from the Gurjar community with weapons and stones.
Sub Divisional Officer of Police Vinod Dixit said that there were already tensions between the two communities in connection with a proposal to construct a statue of BR Ambedkar near the temple and the cutting of a banyan tree.
The other incident took place in the Chhoti Kasrawad village, where a Dalit woman alleged that she was prevented from praying at a temple. The woman, Manju Bai, said that she was abused over her caste and shoved by other women who objected to her offering water to a Shivling, a symbolic representation of the Hindu deity.
Sub Divisional Officer of Police Manohar Gawli said that a case has been filed under provisions of the Atrocities Act and Indian Penal Code against four women and a man, according to PTI.
The woman later offered prayers at the temple under police protection, he said.