It was an unusual sight on Sunday. A groom, dressed perfectly in a starched sherwani, rides a horse to marry his bride along with his baaratis. But the procession stops midway and the man switches his traditional wedding turban with a helmet!
No, he was not afraid of falling off his ride, but was forced to do so to escape the upper caste bullies, who lobbed stones at the procession claiming that such a gusto and honour was "not allowed to a Dalit."
"The incident was reported around 11 pm on Sunday in Negrun village, about 70 kilometres northwest of Ratlam district headquarters, under the Tall police station. Six people, including naib tehsildar and policeman, were injured in the attack," Alote police sub-divisional officer RR Bansal said on Monday.
"The police have arrested 27 villagers in this connection and registered a case against 72 villagers who lobbed stones and attacked the procession under section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 294 (obscene acts or words in public), 336 (act endangering life) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(a)(10)(14) of SC/ST Act."
According to reports, policemen were accompanying the marriage procession -- apprehending that such a situation may emerge-- when around 100 miscreants, allegedly belonging to upper castes, pelted stones on the Dalit family.
"The miscreants targeted the family from Bercha village in Ujjain district claiming that grooms belonging to the lower castes did not have the right to ride a horse, nor did they have right to take out a marriage procession with a music band," police said.
According to a complaint lodged with the police, as soon as the marriage procession moved out of the community hall, miscreant started pelting stones on them in which six persons including a naib tehsildar and one police constable received minor injuries.