Statesman News Service
KENDRAPARA, Feb. 15. — The National Commission on Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has asked the Kendrapara district administration to comply with the action taken report on the alleged imposition of penalty on dalit women for entering into a Hindu temple in Rajnagar tehsil.
The NCSC directives received today by the local administration sought for the compilation of the report within 15 days. The commission taking cognizance of a news report served notices to local administration and observed that it’s unconstitutional and unlawful to treat lower caste women in such a manner.
The upper caste Hindus during November last had allegedly forced a section of dalit women to cough up penalty because these female devotees ‘intruded’ and desecrated the sanctum sanctorum of the Jagannath temple in Keredagada village, about 65 km from here.
A complaint lodged by 27 scheduled caste persons led by a Bahujan Samaj Party leader was received by the district administration and an inquiry had been ordered into the alleged incident. Subsequently, the probe by the local Tehsildar had ascertained veracity of the charges leveled against the upper caste persons.
The priests and temple management committee members allegedly detained the women devotees on the charge of disregarding the age-old tradition which bars Dalits from deity’s darshan. The committee members, all from upper caste, forced them to pay Rs 1001 penalty for purification of the deity.
Ms Lochan Dei of Brunei village in Jagatsinghpur was killed in an accident on the Cuttack-Paradip railway line on Tuesay. The victim was collecting coal chips near the railway line without realising that a goods train was coming on the same track. Police have recovered Ms Dei’s dead body and have sent it for a post-mortem. — SNS