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Published in the 16-31 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Harassed, Dalit family converts to Islam

Jaipur: A Dalit family of Nimora, a village in Jaipur district, has decided to convert to Islam because the head of this family was not only prevented from entering Hanuman temple for worshipping but was also fined Rs 21,000 for daring to build a small Hanuman temple of his own.

According to a statement issued by Dalit Manav Adhikaar Kendra (Dalit Human Rights Centre), a Dalit called Gopal Krishn Dhankia of Nimora village complained to this centre that when he tried to enter the Hanuman temple of the village for worship, he was prevented from entering it by the people of the village. When he tried to build a small Hanuman temple for himself near his house, the villagers not only prevented him from doing so but also fined him a hefty amount. Dhankia also registered his complaint with the police and local administration but no one responded to his pleas. In desperation he has decided to embrace Islam along with his entire family.

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