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Dalits threaten to convert after being denied entry to temple

Ten Dalit families of Jamalpur village here have said they will convert to Islam if they are not allowed to worship at the historic Lav Kush Janmabhoomi temple at Baleni.

In a memorandum submitted by the villagers to District Magistrate (DM) Pankaj Yadav and the SSP on January 5, they sought permission to worship in the temple by January 26 and threatened to convert otherwise.

Shyam Singh, a village resident, alleged that the priest had stopped him and 10 other Balmiki families from worshipping at the temple on October 8 last year following which they lodged a complaint with the DM.

However, temple priest Swami Lakshyadevanand has refuted the allegations claiming that he never turned anyone away from worshipping.

“A man approached us seeking to lead a procession on Balmiki Jayanti. Since, it was a matter concerning the administration, he was asked to take permission from them,” the priest told reporters.

The villagers claimed no action was however taken following their complaint in the matter.

Meanwhile, circle officer Brijesh Singh said due to some misunderstanding, a dispute had occurred between the priest and the families but has now been resolved adding, there is no issue of conversion as of now.

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