Dismounting of Dalit groom: NHRC issues notices to Rajasthan chief secy, DGP
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the chief secretary and director general of police (DGP) of Rajasthan over an attack on a Dalit family by members of the upper-caste during a pre-wedding procession in Bhilwara district.
The NHRC has taken serious note of media reports, which claimed that the incident was triggered because the groom rode a mare during the traditional “Bindauri” ceremony, which takes place a day before a wedding.
Four persons were reportedly injured in the incident, which took place in the presence of police personnel.
The NHRC has issued notices to the chief secretary and DGP of Rajasthan, asking them to submit a detailed report on the matter within four weeks, along with the details of measures taken for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims, a statement issued by the commission said.
“The incident, if true, indicates that in spite of specific provisions under law and awareness campaigns run by the authorities, people belonging to the Dalit community are still being subjected to discrimination and they are not safe even after giving prior intimation to the police authorities.
“The rights to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the victims, belonging to the Dalit community, have been grossly violated due to inaction by the state authorities,” the statement said.
According to media reports, the additional superintendent of police, Bhilwara has denied the allegation of police inaction and stated that seven persons have been taken into preventive custody in connection with the incident and that they would arrested under relevant sections of law, the statement added.
The additional SP has also stated that an FIR has been lodged under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and the relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in connection with the incident.
In 2010, a similar procession during the groom’s elder brother’s wedding was also reportedly stopped by the members of the upper caste.
The victims have stated that they were getting constant threats after they decided to hire a mare for the “Bindoli” procession.
They have also said that an application was given to the police, informing them about the threats, but at the time of the attack, the police personnel present remained mute spectators.
The brother of the groom has alleged that the police watched silently as the upper-caste men, armed with sticks, stones and axes, beat them up and misbehaved with the women in the procession.