Telangana: Priest booked for refusing to perform ritual for Dalit family

Hyderabad: The Telangana police have registered a case against a temple priest in Jangaon district of the state for refusing to perform certain rituals of a family from the scheduled caste community.

As per reports, Lakkapalli Bhaskar and his family, who belong to the Madiga community wanted to perform certain rituals in the name of their son at a Hanuman Temple near Ganeshwada in Janagan town. However, the priest, identified as Gangi Anjaneya Sharma, refused to perform the rituals when he got to know about the family’s caste.

 According to a report in The New Indian Express, Bhaskar said: “The incident happened when we reached the temple and requested the priest to perform some special prayers in the name of my son. Soon after seeing us, the priest asked us our caste. When I told him that we belong to the Madiga community, Gangu Anjaneya Sharma, adamantly, said that he won’t perform prayers for us.”

The report further quoted Bhaskar as having said, “The priest did not just stop there. He abused us and demanded that we leave the premises claiming that Dalits are not allowed to enter the temple. It was then that he saw my wife washing her legs in the temple premises. The priest got so furious that he shouted at us and asked us to leave,” Bhaskar added

Meanwhile, the people belonging to the Dalit community flocked to the temple to protest against the discrimination, after which the police reached the spot to contain the situation.

“The priest has been taken into custody and statements were being taken. A case under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was registered against the priest,” said D Mallesh, the inspector of the Janagaon police station.

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