Temple in Salem sealed after caste Hindus prevent entry of Dalits

File photo of Sakthi Mariamman temple at Virudasampatti in Salem district. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

File photo of Sakthi Mariamman temple at Virudasampatti in Salem district. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Revenue officials sealed Sakthi Mariamman temple at Virudasampatti after caste Hindus prevented the entry of Dalits, on Sunday, December 25, 2022.

According to the police, the temple near Nangavalli comes under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department.

A few months ago, caste Hindus renovated this temple at a cost of ₹60 lakh, and the consecration ceremony was held.

Entry disallowed in the past

Meanwhile, Dalit families in the village were not allowed into the temple to worship. Following this, revenue officials conducted talks with both sides on October 31, 2022, following which the Dalits were allowed into the temple.

Officials seal the Sakthi Mariamman temple at Virudasampatti in Salem district on December 25, 2022. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Officials seal the Sakthi Mariamman temple at Virudasampatti in Salem district on December 25, 2022. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

However, when the Dalits arrived at the temple on Sunday evening to take part in the special pujas on the 48th day of ‘kumbhabishekam’, they were stopped by caste Hindu women who did not allow them to enter the temple again. Tension prevailed following the incident.

Upon receiving information, the police rushed to the spot and security was beefed up to prevent any untoward incident. The revenue officials conducted peace talks, but caste Hindus were firm in not allowing the Dalits inside the temple.

Following this, the revenue officials sealed the temple around 7.30 p.m. As a precautionary measure, police were deployed in the village.

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