More than 200 Dalits have been allegedly barred from participating in a Yajna by the upper caste people at Kolukhedi locality on the outskirts of Bhopal.
The ‘Panch Kundaliya Shri Vishnu Mahayajna’ is being held near a temple in Kolukhedi in Berasia tehsil and will end on May 16, 2017.
“The temple was initially situated within the village and our houses surrounded it. But some years ago, the area was submerged and we shifted our houses”
“We were threatened with dire consequences if we dared visit the holy site. We approached the district administration for help but in vain,” they said.
“We have tried to contact the Mahant Ji, who is organising the yajna. He agreed, but some influential people of the village are not allowing us to participate, saying we are of low caste,” alleged Mukesh Mongia, a villager.
“We filed a complaint with the sub-divisional magistrate and talked to the district collector but nothing happened,” he alleged.
“When the planning for the yajna began a few months ago, the influential people who are organising it fixed a donation of Rs 1,000 on each family of the village. We were included. But later they refused to take donations from us or let us participate. They say we low are caste. Two hundred of us Dalits are being threatened,” another villager Pappu Silawat said.
“We got the matter investigated at our level and there is no such discrimination. Some people are not being allowed as it is a private function of a community. How can anyone be forced to allow others in their private function?” SDM Rajiv Nandan Shrivastav said.
“If it was a private yajna, why were leaflets and posters distributed in 15 nearby villages to invite people?” askeda villager.