Dalit killed for entering temple

Narayan Bareth/Jaipur

Temple entry is still prohibited for Dalits in rural Rajasthan. For instance, Ghasi Raiger, a Dalit, lost his life while he dared to enter a temple in the Madkiya village of Kotdi tehsil in Bhilwara district.

According to police, Ghasi(60), a Scheduled Caste, was murdered by one Narayan Gujar last Saturday. The police have arrested Narayan for murdering Ghasi and he has been booked under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code. Ghasi was ill for quite some time.

Perturbed over his long illness, Ghasi was suggested for praying in the temple to get rid of his illness. In a hope of getting well, the poor Dalit started offering prayers in the temple in the village.

The village has had a place for idols of various gods at one place. His frequent visit for darshan, had irked uper caste people like Gujar.

On the fateful day, Ghasi never thought even in his dreams that he would be killed while offering prayer to God. Police said there was a war of words between Ghasi and Gujar on Saturday. Gujar in drunken state had objected Ghasi's entry into the temple.

Narrating the incident, Shankar, the son of Ghasi, said his father had requested that he had right to prayer into the temple. But Gujar was in inebriated condition and started abusing with filthy language.

After this, Gujar came with an iron rod and had beaten Ghasi till he breathed his last. Police said, Gujar attacked Ghasi with full vigour and broke his right hand and one leg. Ghasi was then taken to the nearby hospital, but he was declared brought dead.

After murdering Ghasi, the accused came to the Dalit community and threatened them for dire consequences if they give any statement regarding the incident. Though, the police arrested the accused, the Dalits were still terrified after this incident.

Irony is that the accused was earlier arrested in a rape case. But this time, he raised question of temple's purity. Ghasi was a simple man. In rural Rajasthan, there were many instances of not permitting Dalits into the temple. Only a few organisations who raise the issue while most of the political and religious leaders and saints, keep them away from such campaigns.

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Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/secon3.asp?cat=\state1&d=STATES
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 11, 2001
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