Temple authorities `clean` premises with Gangajal after Dalit woman performs pooja

| Updated: Jul 15, 2016 13:57 IST

Kanpur, July 15 (ANI): A new case of caste discrimination has come to light after a Dalit woman in a Kanpur village alleged that the authorities of a temple, where she had gone to offer prayers, cleansed the temple with 'Gangajal' after she left. The incident is alleged to have taken place on Friday when Sunita Devi, along with other women, reportedly went to the Chaturbhuj Temple in the village to offer prayers. "We went to perform the pooja on Friday. As soon as we reached, the temple authorities closed down the gates. They told us that gates of the temple would not be opened as we are Dalits. But later on she allowed," Sunita told ANI. "As soon as we finished the pooja, she threw the prasad in the pond and sprinkled gangajal in the temple premises to clean it," she added. One of the other ladies, who also went to perform the pooja, said that it was not the first time that this has happened. "Earlier also, she used to put locks at the gate. They told us that people of the Balmiki community cannot enter the temple premises because the gods will then become untouchable," she told ANI. Meanwhile, the Kanpur Additional SP said that this was a false allegation. "The people had gone to perform pooja when the temple was closed. It is a usual custom all across the world that there are specific timings for temples to open and close," he told ANI. "These women had reached the temple when it was closed. The priestess at the temple at first denied entry, but when they insisted, he allowed them to enter. They also wanted to enter the garbgrih and perform the pooja. At first the priestess declined but when they insisted he allowed them to perform the pooja at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple," he added. Babita, the priestess of the temple, cried foul saying that they never deny entry into the temple. "Temple closes at 12, she came at 1 and forcefully asked me to let her enter and we did. I usually wash the temple at 12 during the closing time. That is my work," she said. (ANI)