Harried Dalit families of Badgaon village have sought the intervention of Balikuda police to take action against the errant priests who have denied entry of Dalits to the Sankarswer temple. Meanwhile, Dalit Mahasangh has threatened to agitate if those who prevented entry of dalits to the temple are not arrested within a week.
A handful of Dalit youths including girls led by Hemant Sethy have petitioned local police, district administration and higher authorities in this regard. Sarpanch of the area Mrs Niharika Biswal convened a series of peace meetings in an attempt to make the Dalit families understand that one section of people insist on the tradition and custom relating to entry to the temple.
The upper caste claim that they cannot alter the tradition. Though panchayat had been attempted to resolve this issue by conducting village meeting, a section of the upper caste did not attend the meeting last week. The issue came to the fore when Rojalini Sethy, daughter of Basant Sethy was denied entry to the temple by the priest.
Basant lodged a police complaint against the priests and two others. IIC of Balikuda police station Mr Sarbeswer Behera said a case has been registered against two priests Narahari Panda and Prahllad Panda. It may recalled that despite restriction, one Rojalini Sethy of same village who is reading as B. Tech in a private engineering college in Bhubaneswar came to the• village and went to the temple to pray when she was prevented by the priest.