For the rest of his life, Dalit man Vijay Kumar’s wedding anniversary will remind him of the attack and humiliation he and his kin were subjected to by a group of Rajputs.
Kumar’s wedding procession was attacked by Rajputs in Gundusur village of Rajasthan’s Churu district on Wednesday evening for allegedly playing music on a loudspeaker.
Ten people, including women, were injured in the attack. Three had to be referred to a government hospital and they were discharged later, police said.
The incident happened a day after a Dalit groom was attacked in Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri on Tuesday for mounting a horse.
“We were going to the Sati Mata temple at around 5.30 pm before leaving for Nagaur, and on the way there were some houses of Rajputs. They came out and told us to stop playing the music and hurled abuses at us,” said Ram Niwas, uncle of the groom.
The Rajputs then slapped the loudspeaker operator, turned the machine off and blocked our way to the temple, he said.
“They said ‘tum bhangi, joota khane wale, kaise baraat nikaal rahe ho DJ ke saath’ (You scavengers, you have been kicked with boots, how dare you take a wedding procession with DJ and loudspeakers),” said Niwas.
When the procession turned around to return, the Rajputs started manhandling the women in the procession and attacked the men who went to save them with sticks, said Niwas. He also said that the attackers snatched the mobile phones and jewellery of the women.
The groom was safely escorted away by some men in the procession as soon as the disruption began. “They wanted to assault the groom. One of them said, ‘Dulhe ko pakdo, zyada dulha ban raha hai’ (get hold of the groom, he seems to be too audacious),” said Niwas.
The police has arrested four accused, Jagdish Singh, Rajender Singh, Gopal Singh and Banna Singh.
A case has been lodged against them under the SC and ST Act, and for outraging women’s modesty and assaulting them, said Tejaram, head constable at Sandwa police station.