Security forces have been deployed in the village
Tension grips UP village after Dalits enter temple
Lucknow, July 30, DHNS:
Tension prevailed in Gauna village in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat
district, about 450 km from here, over ''jalabhishek'' (offering of
sacred Ganga water to Shivlinga during the shravana month) by some
members of a Dalit community at an old Shiva temple in the village.
Some members of the upper castes on Friday turned away several
"kanwariyas" (devotees, who offer the Ganga water to Shivlingas)
belonging to the Dalit community from the temple saying it would
render the temple "impure".
The upper caste people reportedly locked the doors of the temple and
squatted before the gates to make sure that the Dalits could not enter
The Dalit devotees approached the police which arrived in strength and
forced the upper caste people to open the door. The Dalits were then
able to offer water at the temple.
Irked over the police action, the members of the upper castes chose to
abandon the temple and offered "jalabhishek" at another nearby Shiva
temple in the village. They also announced that they would never enter
the temple in future as it has become "impure" following "jalabhishek"
by the Dalits.
According to the villagers, a similar incident had happened at the
village a few years ago. "At that time, the villagers had immersed all
the idols of the temple and replaced them with new idols," said the
officials quoting the villagers.
Security personnel in strength have been deployed in the village as
tension prevailed there, official sources here said.
Thousands of "kanwarias" carrying water from the holy Ganges visit
famous Shiva temples in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, especially in
Hardwar and Varanasi and other places in the Hindu month of
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