A Dalit groom rode to his pre-wedding ceremony on a horse under heavy police protection in Damoh district on Sunday. Some upper caste men allegedly had threatened his family with dire consequences if he dared to ride a horse.
Bamarkha villager Ramol Rajak, along with some villagers, lodged a complaint with the Damoh superintendent of police (SP) Tilak Singh that his son, Santosh, 23, was getting married on April 17, but some upper case men of his village had threatened not to let his son ride a horse during the pre-marriage ceremony ‘Rachwai’ in Bundhelkhand.
Ramol had sought police protection during the ceremony.
According to tradition, grooms in Bundelkhand ride to the temple of a local deity on a horse as a part of a pre-marriage ceremony. However, in several villages of the region, upper caste men did not allow people from ‘lower’ castes to ride horse claiming it to be a their exclusive right.
After receiving the complaint SP Tilak Singh ordered Pathariya police to inquire into the matter. According to police, during interrogation the upper caste men denied threatening the groom or his father.
On Sunday, Santosh’s Rachwai ceremony was performed in presence of heavy police force. The groom rode on the horseback with his family members and sought blessings.
Rajak told HT that he was overjoyed as his son’s Rachwai ceremony was performed without any disturbance.