UP Priest Accuses Dalit Outfit of Evicting Him From Hanuman Temple
An FIR has been lodged against members of Dalit outfit Valmiki Kranti Dal for allegedly entering a Hanuman temple in Muzaffarnagar, manhandling the priest and forcing him out on Tuesday, 4 December, The Indian Express reported.
The priest lodged an FIR at the City Kotwali police station under IPC sections 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 296 (disturbing religious assembly) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) on Wednesday, 5 December.
Anil Kaparwan, Station House Officer (SHO) of City Kotwali police station, said the temple priest, Sachidanand, has alleged that the Kranti Dal workers had forcibly entered the temple, misbehaved and hurled abuses at him.
Police has been deployed at the temple as a preventive measure. According to reports, members of the Rashtriya Brahmin Mahasangh and Rashtriya Parashuram Sena (Brahm Vahini) also met with top police officers and asked for sufficient security at all 500 temples in the district.
SHO Kaparwan added that nobody had been taken into custody so far.
“We rushed to the Hanuman temple after being informed about trouble there and found workers of Valmiki Kranti Dal conducting rituals of the priest. They were taken out of the temple and later let off.” reported The Indian Express.
Deepak Gambhir, Muzaffarnagar district president of the Dal, said they had decided that Dalits should have control of all the Hanuman temples because CM Yogi Adityanath had stated that Hanuman was a Dalit while campaigning in Rajasthan.
“On Tuesday, we went to the Hanuman temple at Chowk and took over control of the temple administration. We did not misbehave with the priest and after offering prayers, we returned,” said Gambhir.
Plans to Take Over More Hanuman Temples?
According to The Indian Express, Gambhir further said the Dal had plans to visit another temple in the Nai Mandi area, but the programme had been postponed due to the violence in Bulandshar and the death of a policeman.
Rahul Sharma, Saharanpur mandal president of the Rashtriya Parashuram Sena (Brahm Vahini), said Brahmins in Muzaffarnagar were upset after Adityanath’s remarks.
“We were informed that Kranti Dal workers had forced the priest to leave the temple. We are keeping watch on all temples in the district to ensure that such incident does not take place again,” he said.
Members of the Rashtriya Brahmin Mahasangh’s Saharanpur unit as well as the Rashtriya Parashuram Sena (Brahm Vahini) met with the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate and the City Kotwali police station in-charge and submitted a memorandum demanding adequate security for all 500 temples in the district.
According to reports, police had to intervene and bring peace at two prominent Hanuman temples at Hazratganj and Aliganj when Dalit outfits attempted to assert control a few days ago.
Also Read : Yogi may face legal action for Hanuman remark
What Yogi Adityanath Said About Hanuman Being Dalit
During a poll rally in Malakheda of Alwar district on Tuesday, 27 November, Adityanath had said, "Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west.”
He was under immediate fire for his comments with right-wing groups in Rajasthan issuing a legal notice against the UP chief minister asking him to apologize for his remark.
Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha President Suresh Mishra has now sent a notice to Adityanath, accusing him of dragging Lord Hanuman's caste for BJP’s political gains in Rajasthan, where state Assembly elections will be held on 7 December.
The notice reads, "I am saddened that UP chief minister called Lord Hanuman deprived. His statement has hurt religious sentiments of several devotees. Those who are deprived, they get strength to fight the odds. It is a sheer attempt to take political mileage in election (sic)."
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari also condemned Adityanath's remarks.