Vellakoil Dalits petition Collector
R. Vimal Kumar
Dalits from Vellakoil block petitioned the Collector and
Superintendent of Police on Wednesday seeking the officials'
intervention to ensure that the people from the community were given
unrestricted access into the 'New Uthamapalayam Mariamman temple'
situated in the block without any caste discrimination.
They also demanded that the 350 sovereign jewellery and huge cash
assets of the original Uthamapalayam Mariamman temple, which is now
under the custody of a private trust, be returned to the temple.
Uthamapalayam Temple entry agitation committee convener S. Karuppaiah
told The Hindu that the representation was made based on the incident
which took place on October 21 when the Dalits from Uthampalayam,
Dasavanaickenpatti and nearby hamlets were denied entry into the 'New
Uthamapalayam Mariamman temple' by caste Hindus.
The 'New Uthamapalayam temple', according to Mr Karuppiah, has been
built by the caste Hindus who had stated that allowing the entry of
Dalits in the original Uthamapalayam temple from 2005 made the shrine
lose its sanctity.
On the transfer of jewellery and cash of the original Mariamman
temple, Mr. Karuppiah said it was disturbing to understand that the
jewellery and cash belonging to the temple had mysteriously gone into
the hands of a trust formed only in 1983 whereas the temple was taken
over by the HR&CE department way back in 1962 itself.
The Dalits in the locality, according to him, wanted the officials
concerned to take steps for stopping caste discrimination and to
distribute a share of the 240 acre of temple land in the area, which
had gone into the hands of 'benami' persons over a period, to the
The committee members also requested the police to arrest all persons
belonging to the caste Hindus who had unleashed attack on the Dalit
population on October 21 when they tried to enter the sanctum
sanctorum of the 'New Uthamapalayam Mariamman temple'.
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