Tirunelveli, December 18: Hundreds of Dalits led by the CPI(M) leaders made an attempt on Wednesday to enter the Kannanallur Mariamman temple situated at Panthapuli near Sankarankoil in Tamil Nadu.
The situation is such in this temple, the Dalits cannot go into the temple despite the court orders. The local court has given its judgment in the month of September that the Dalits have right to offer prayers. When the judgment came, the priest of the temple had locked up the temple and ran away.
The Dalits protested on being kept away from worshipping in the temple.Administration was also playing into the hands of dominant section. It is refusing to implement the court orders. CPI(M), on behalf of Dalits, took up the issue and held talks with the administration. Since the talks failed,the party had announced that the Dalits will enter the temple on December 17, 2008.
It was decided that the party leaders will lead the dalits into the temple.Instead of implementing the law, the local administration imposed section 144 to stop the dalits to enter the temple. The CPI(M) and the Dalits were firm in their decision in exercising their rights to enter the temple.
The attempts by the administration to create division within the dalits were futile. They stood behind the CPI(M) that is conducting the struggle for untouchability eradication. Dalits led by the CPI(M) party leaders including the party's state secretariat member M.N.S. Venkataraman, MLA, K.Bala Bharathi and N.Nanmaran, state committee member R.Karumalaiyan had assembled in Sankarankoil to proceed towards Pandhapuli.
The police arrested the leaders and the dalits for violating the orders. In total, 400 people were arrested. The police did not allow even the MLA to visit the temple. Addressing a meeting on the Golden Jubilee Grounds, Ms.Balabharathi came down heavily on the official machinery for banning the CPI(M)'s temple entry.
Before the arrest, CPI(M)'s MLA K. Bala Bharathi spoke to the presspersons.In that, the administration is not able to execute the order of Munsif Court that the Dalits should be allowed to worship in the temple. Hence, the party is taking up the issue and will make sure that the dalits enter the temple as they desire, she said.
She charged that the district administration is functioning with casteist feelings. The state government is just standing as silent spectator for these events. Chief Minister should take initiatives to solve the issue immediate. If the trend continues, the CPI(M) will conduct statewide agitations.