SC residents of Tindivanam village allege discrimination in temple


Around 500 Scheduled Caste residents of Vizhukkam village, near Tindivanam, allege that they have been threatened not to enter the Selliamman Koil in the village by members of the dominant backward caste community.

The SC community members demanded that those belonging to the non-Dalit communities, who are preventing them from entering the temple, should be booked under the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act. In a petition submitted by a resident named Irusammal, addressed to the Chief Minister, the Home secretary, the DGP and the district administration on June 7, she said it had been a tradition for the community to worship in the temple and offer cloth, flowers and fruits to the deity during festivals.

“In the last three years, the temple festival did not take place as it was being renovated. The Scheduled Caste people collectively gave ₹1,00,000 to a person who is an administrator in the temple. However, former panchayat president Annamalai refused to accept the donation to the temple and the kumbhabhishekam was performed on April 29, without any information to the people in the colony,” the petition claimed.

Ms. Irusammal alleged that some people said during the kumbhabhishekam function that a fine of ₹2,000 would be levied against people from the colony.

She alleged that non-Dalit villagers and those involved in the management of the temple had organised a purification ceremony on May 1, which was headed by a Brahmin priest, after the Scheduled Caste villagers went to the temple with their offerings on April 30.

The aggrieved villagers did not file a police case immediately as the non-Dalit villagers tried to negotiate a compromise through local businessmen, said the petitioner.

“However, when we sought clarity on worshipping in the temple on June 6, they told us that Annamalai and a few non-Dalit villagers had stated that we [SC members of the village] should not enter the temple,” the petition said.

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