Tamil Nadu Temple Under Govt Control Draws Flak Over Denial of Entry to SC Community

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The residents of Sittilari panchayat of Musiri Taluk of Tiruchi district belonging to the Scheduled Caste community charged that they are denied entry to the temple even after there is a court ruling in favour of them.

CHENNAI — Even as the ruling DMK is vouching for its ideology of social justice and equality and celebrating September as the Dravidian month, the ground reality is something different.

A temple in Tiruchi district of Tamil Nadu falling under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) has drawn flak over not allowing people of the Scheduled Caste community into its premises.

People living in Sittilari panchayat of Musiri Taluk of Tiruchi district and belonging to the Scheduled Caste community have complained that they are not allowed to worship in the Mahamariamman temple. The residents charged that they are denied entry to the temple even after there is a court ruling in favour of them.

P. Murugappan, a man belonging to the SC community moved the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on July 14 against the denial of entry to people belonging to the SC community into the temple. The petitioner stated that the temple was under the administrative control of the HR&CE department but still the temple authorities were denying the SC community entry into the temple.

After the court ruled in favour of the community, the local people belonging to the SC community entered the temple, but since then they have been denied entry.

Murugappan while speaking to IANS said, “The temple authorities are denying us entry and Caste Hindus are dominating this area. We need police protection for entry to the temple and caste discrimination is rampant in our village.”

He said that the two tumbler system is rampant in the area and all the four tea shops in the panchayat follow the two tumbler system.

The HR&CE authorities, when contacted by IANS, refused to comment on the issue. However, panchayat president B. Balakumar accepted the fact that there was discrimination in the temple. He said that even though he is a Caste Hindu, he was not able to do much regarding the entry of SC community people into the temple. He said that the people from all communities have elected him and that he does not accept caste discrimination in the temple.

Sources in the Tiruchi district administration told IANS that the district collector has already directed the Musiri Thahsildhar to immediately do a study on the matter and to report back. — IANS

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