Order to inform cops about Dalit weddings in Madhya Pradesh town revoked
Authorities of a town in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district withdrew an order on Saturday that had asked functionaries of village panchayats to intimate the police about any weddings in Dalit families three days in advance.
The order, issued on April 16 in Mahidpur town, 244km from Bhopal, came two days after a wedding procession of a Dalit groom was allegedly stopped by upper-caste men. The man belonged to the Scheduled Caste Balai community, said an official.
In the order, the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Mahidpur, Jagdish Gome, had directed the secretaries of all village panchayats within his jurisdiction to inform the police three days in advance about any weddings being organised by families belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Castes (OBCs).
The order stated that these village panchayat secretaries were to immediately inform the local police station in-charge, in writing, by post or on the official WhatsApp group.
“The order issued by the SDM has been revoked with immediate effect,” district collector Manish Singh said on Saturday.
The Mahidpur SDM said the order was issued as a “precautionary measure”, following the incident on the night of April 14, which incidentally happens to be Ambedkar Jayanti.
Leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh, however, termed the order a “blot” on social harmony.
“Dalits are being disrespected in a planned way across the state. The order issued by the district administration in Ujjain is a blot on the social harmony of the state,” Singh said.
The senior Congress leader also pointed to a recent incident, which occurred in MP’s Dhar district, in which police aspirants have had their caste categories marked on their chests during a medical examination.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)