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Dalit girl married under police protection in Bikaner turns out to be minor

The wedding took place under police protection at Belasar village in Bikaner district on Thursday night after upper caste people objected to the groom riding a mare during the marriage procession.

jaipur Updated: May 19, 2019 13:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bikaner
rajasthan,bikaner,caste discrimination
The bride’s minor status came to light when the district administration and police checked the birth records of her elder brothers whose marriage was scheduled to take place on Friday.(HT File / Photo used for representational purpose)

A Dalit girl, who was married under police protection in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district after the groom was forced off his mare by upper castes, was a minor, officials said.

The wedding took place under police protection at Belasar village in Bikaner district on Thursday night after upper caste people objected to the groom riding a mare during the marriage procession.

The bride’s minor status came to light when the district administration and police checked the birth records of her elder brothers whose marriage was scheduled to take place on Friday.

“Villagers complained that the girl’s father Poonam Chand Meghwal had fixed the marriage of his two minor sons. While investigating the complaint, the station house officer of Napasar police station reported that both the sons, Vikas and Kailash, were minors. The district administration has warned the family against getting them married till they become majors,” Bikaner sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Kailash Chandra Sharma said.

The girl, married under police protection, is the youngest child of Poonam Chand, according to the Bhamashah scheme records. HT has a copy of the records.

After upper-caste people threw stones at the Dalit groom’s wedding procession, police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the mob. Police personnel were deployed in the village to ensure that the marriage procession continued.

Bikaner superintendent of police Pradeep Mohan Sharma confirmed that the girl was a minor.

He said the SDM has conducted the inquiry.

Meanwhile, the upper caste people in the village have decided to launch an agitation from Monday.

District president of Sri Rajput Karni Sena (Rural) Jugal Singh Belasar said, “We are going to file an FIR against police personnel for giving protection to the marriage of a minor. The villagers had informed the police and administrative officers that the bride was a minor, but they ignored it.”

Police force has been deployed in Belasar village after the incident.

First Published: May 19, 2019 13:19 IST