10 arrested for attacking Dalit man’s wedding procession in Rajasthan

Soon after the incident, in which 12 people received injuries, a local Congress MLA demanded suspension of the entire staff of the Pragpura police station for failure to provide protection to the wedding procession, which was under police protection.
Police had provided protection to the marriage procession at Kairodi ki Dhani gram panchayat as the bride’s family had apprehended trouble, police said (AFP)
Police had provided protection to the marriage procession at Kairodi ki Dhani gram panchayat as the bride’s family had apprehended trouble, police said (AFP)
Published on Nov 27, 2021 12:12 AM IST
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Jaipur At least 10 people were arrested after they allegedly pelted stones at a Dalit man’s wedding procession because he rode a mare in the Pawta area of rural Jaipur on late Thursday night, Rajasthan Police said on Friday.

Soon after the incident, in which 12 people received injuries, a local Congress MLA demanded suspension of the entire staff of the Pragpura police station for failure to provide protection to the wedding procession, which was under police protection.

“Some mischievous people of a community had objected to a Dalit man riding a mare in marriage. The victim family members had given a complaint prior to the marriage. A police team was deployed but some people still pelted stones at the procession,” said Shiv Shankar Sharma, station house officer, Pragpura police station.

In the complaint, the groom’s family named 20 people, of which 10 have been arrested, Sharma said, adding that a case under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code has been registered. A hunt is on to arrest 10 others named in the complaint, he said. An official said the alleged perpetrators belonged to the Rajput community.

Police had provided protection to the marriage procession at Kairodi ki Dhani gram panchayat as the bride’s family had apprehended trouble, police said. However, when the procession was moving through an upper caste neighbourhood, some people pelted stones at it, police said.

Sharma said the local administration, including the subdivisional magistrate and police, had held meetings with people from various community and asked them to maintain law and order. “Everyone had assured of cooperation, but still the incident happened,” the SHO added.

A relative of the bride, Nitendra Manav, claimed it was the failure of police as the incident took place despite prior intimation and in the presence of the police. Manav said the groom, who is a government teacher, had expressed his wish to ride a mare. The bride’s father had written letters to the Rajasthan chief minister, the director general of police (DGP) and also to the local administration, seeking security suspecting untoward incident.

Congress MLA Khiladi Lal Bairwa, meanwhile, demanded suspension of the entire staff of the police station. In a letter to the CM, he said that despite informing police 15 days prior to the marriage, the incident happened, and the staff of the station should be suspended. He also urged to set up a special court for speedy action atrocities against Dalits.

Upper-caste anger against Dalits riding horses in wedding processions is decades-old and stems from caste prejudice. In 2018, a Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh wrote to ministers and started a statewide stir to ride a horse for the first time in his village’s history after upper-caste members objected to it. Reportedly, In a similar incident occurred in Bundi few days back on November 22, three grooms riding a mare were objected by upper caste people. They performed a toran (ritual) by sitting in a car and even police was deployed to maintain law and order.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sachin Saini is Principal Correspondent with HT Rajasthan edition. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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