Dalit MP in Orissa denied to enter the temple

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Puri, Jun 25: Caste discrimination that still prevails across the country has reached its height when the chairman of the National Commission for Schedule Castes was denied entry at a temple in Puri.

PL Punia, a Dalit himself is considered as 'untouchable'who was allowed just till the compound, but found the main temple doors shut. The MP said that he would take up the matter.

"I will summon the Chief Secretary of Orissa within 15 days and seek explanation from him over the matter. After that I will take action against this illegal practice which is very much within the jurisdiction of my commission," Punia said.

The Kali temple has restricted the entries of the dalits since 80 years. But, the controversy, 2010 when three school girls dared to cross the boundary to offer prayers raised protests regarding this issue. They were dragged out by higher caste villagers and insulted, which led to a series of violent clashes.

The Dalits who are basically sharecroppers were denied cultivation from the upper cast land owners. "Now that we are also denied cultivation, we have not much to eat. We will be forced to leave the village and migrate as labourers," said a Dalit farmer.

Though such casteism practises are illegal, due to lack of political will, the age old mentality these still continue.

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