NALGONDA: Some Dalits were prevented from using temporary toilets installed in one of the Pushkaram ghats in Nalgonda district, marring the otherwise smooth conduct of the Krishna Pushkarams. The incident happened at the remote Mudimanikyam Pushkar ghat in Damaracharla mandal of the district. The district administration had engaged nearly 40 locals, belonging to SCs and also other castes, to take up sanitation work at the ghats in two shifts. These sanitation workers were also given the responsibility of maintaining the temporary toilets.

On Tuesday afternoon, four women sanitation workers belonging to Dalit community tried to use the temporary toilet when the sanitation workers of the other community stopped them, OSD and incharge of the Mudimanikyam ghat Venkateswarlu told Express.

The Dalits were allegedly abused. “How can you expect that we would clean toilets used by Dalits. Go to some open place and relieve yourselves,” the women were told by the other sanitation workers. The Dalits said two locals — P Srinu and Devarapau Peraiah — abused them.

This infuriated the Dalits, who gathered in front of the local temple and staged a dharna putting a halt to sanitation work. “One woman was pushed by the duo,” they alleged. The Dalits said they can not leave the ghat premises for attending nature’s call and go to their respective houses as officials would not allow them to leave work.

Sensing that the situation might get out of hand, the village elders and community leaders held a panchayat. Meanwhile, police and revenue officials too reached the spot. The efforts of the officials to pacify the agitating Dalits did not yield results. The Dalits demanded action. The officials asked them to approach the Wadapally police station. Later, the Dalit community leaders along with the women lodged a complaint with the Wadapally police against Srinu and Peraiah. As the station house officer of the police station was out on Pushkar duties, no case has been registered. Officials said a case will be registered and investigation will be conducted.