Priests of Hanuman temples in Muzaffarnagar seek police protection



Police personnel were deployed outside a Hanuman temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district Wednesday as priests of the area sought protection after a group of Dalit activists entered the shrine and started performing rituals.

The activists had offered prayers at the temple on Tuesday, a week after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath triggered a row by calling Lord Hanuman a Dalit.

The group went into the temple, where one of them assumed the role of a priest and started performing rituals, police said.

They had also put up a banner of ‘Dalit Hanuman Mandir, Hanuman Chowk, Muzaffarnagar’ in front of the temple, they said.

Priests of different Hanuman temples in the area have sought police protection after the incident. They also lodged a complaint at Kotwali police station.

SHO Anil Kumar Kapervan said they were looking into the complaint.

Addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, the chief minister had said, “Lord 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”.

On Sunday, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had urged members of the Dalit community to take over all Hanuman temples in the country and appoint Dalits as priests there.

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