Tiruchy: Condemning that they were not allowed to participate in the temple festival, a group of Dalits staged hunger strike in Thanjavur on Tuesday urging the government to solve the issue for which they have been fighting for over 18 years.
The Dalits are prevented from participating in the festival of Sri Ayyanar Temple, Sri Pothiammal Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple located at Seruvaviduthi in Thanjavur since 2004. The Dalit residents have been staging a series of protests for the past 18 years to allow them to participate in festivals of the common temples in the village.
On Tuesday, around 200 Dalit residents, mostly women, converged in front of Pothiammal Temple around 9 am and commenced a hunger strike.
They demanded to allow them to worship during all festivals, including the Chithra pournami. They also demanded the state to take possession of these temples and the HR & CE should initiate steps to renovate the temples and organise festivals. RDO Prabakaran, Pattukkottai Tahsildhar Ganeshwaran, DSP Senthamarai Kannan held talks with the agitating members. They also held talks with other groups and assured to resolve it within 10 days.