District judge Anil Kumar Shukla sentenced priest Raja Pandey (63) to two years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 for prohibiting a Dalit woman, Mayawati Sarathi, to step into the temple at Chatipali village of Baramkela in Raigarh district around four months ago, public prosecutor Panchanan Gupta said.
The judge said the imprisonment may extend to six months in case of non-payment of fine, he added. The incident took place on May 12 this year, when the woman was entering a Durga temple at Chatipali along with her friends.Pandey asked her not to conduct rituals in the temple and stay outside, following which she approached to police, he said. On May 14, Pandey was arrested and later produced before the court. The judge convicted Pandey under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and pronounced the judgement, he said.
Times of India
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