By , Mysuru

Police booked 30 villagers in Karnataka’s Haveri district for allegedly attacking a Dalit family after they entered a temple during the Basveshwara fair in Nandi Halli, officials said.

According to officials, villagers were not allowing the Dalit community to enter the Basaveshwara temple in Nandi Halli village in Ranebennur taluk as a common practice.

On Saturday, Hemmavva Malladada and her son Ramesh Malladada tried to enter the temple as the annual car festival was going on, officials said.

The mother and son entered the temple and prayed to the deity. However, one of the villagers found this. An enraged group of 30-40 upper-class villagers then smashed the roof tiles of Hemmavva’s house and damaged their bike.

‘’Dalit community are not allowed to enter the temple for decades, but we entered the temple as it is our right,’’ Hemmavva told reporters. “The upper caste villagers damaged the roof tiles and bike parked in front of the house in an act of revenge. I urged the police to provide protection to Dalits of the village to live with honour,” she said.

The atrocity was reported by chief minister Basavaraja Bommai’s native district.

On Sunday, Hemmavva filed a complaint against thirty villagers. Apart from the damage, some banners of B R Ambedkar were also torn by the villagers, the mother alleged in the complaint.

‘’Soon after receiving the complaint, we registered a case against 30 upper-class persons named in the complaint. The cases registered under IPC sections 143(unlawful assembly) 147( rioting ) 148(rioting with deadly weapon) 341(wrongful restraint ) 451(trespassing house to commit offence )323(voluntarily causing hurt) 354(assault) 504(intentional insult) and prevention of SC/ST atrocity act.’’ Halageri police sub-inspector Basavaraja Biradar told HT.

He said the district armed reserve (DAR) police force has been deployed in the village to prevent an untoward incident.

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