District officials in Karnataka's Sigaranahalli village on Saturday arranged for some members of the Dalit community to offer prayers outside the local Basaveshwara temple's locked doors, after violence broke out when a group of Dalits were stopped from entering it the previous day, reported The Hindu. Dalit leaders in the Holenarsipur taluk of Hassan described this as "adding insult to injury".
On Friday, people from upper castes allegedly stopped some Dalits from entering the temple on the occasion of Durga Parameshwari Jatra Mahotsava. Following this, an angry mob assaulted a district official, journalists and police officers. Additional police forces were deployed and prohibitory orders were imposed in the area to bring the situation under control. “The matter has been peacefully settled,” said Umesh H Kusugal, Deputy Commissioner of Hassan.
However, community members expressed their unhappiness regarding Saturday's development.“In the guise of taking Dalits into the temple, the administration is practising untouchability. Our people were not taken inside, but were made to stand outside the temple doors. The Deputy Commissioner and the MLA should be held responsible,” said Vijay Kumar, a resident of the Dalit colony.
In September 2015, Dalits entered the temple with the help of the district administration after four women from the community were fined for stepping inside. However, after the incident, the temple was shut till after “purification” rituals on March 25.