Dalits accuse upper caste community of stopping funeral
MANALI: Dalits in Fozal valley of Kullu were forced to perform last rites of an elderly woman in a jungle after people from upper caste allegedly stopped them from cremating the body in village crematorium.
The incident came to light after a video on whatsapp was seen making rounds in which Tape Ram, grandson of the 100-yearold deceased, alleged that soome people from upper caste refused to cremate his grandmother at a public cremation of Dhara village.
Tape was recording his statement in the video, while the cremation was taking place in the backdrop. He said: “They (upper caste men) warned us of grave consequences if anything bad happens due to wrath of the deity. So we brought the body to nearby nullah and cremated it.”
Most villages in Kullu have separate crematoriums for dalits and upper caste people. Citing local deities and traditions, both communities cremate bodies separately. According to sources, Dhara villagers also have two temporary crematoriums but the panchayat had built a permanent concrete crematorium where dalits brought body for cremation. Police said they are looking into the matter. No one has lodged complaint so far.