Gujarat: Members Of Upper Caste Stall Dalit Wedding Procession; Violent Clash Follows
A wedding procession of a Dalit man was allegedly stopped by members of Patidar community at Aravalli district in Gujarat on May 12 evening. Patidar community tried to stall the wedding by singing bhajans and performing yagna on the middle of the road, according to media reports.
Soon after the incident, the police rushed to the spot to disperse the crowd and maintain peace. However, unable to contain the crowd, the police had to resort to lathi-charge after both the parties started pelting stones at each other. Several people including policemen were injured during the clash.
According to PTI, one of the family members of the groom alleged that they had sought protection, but the police failed to create a peaceful situation to carry out the procession.
“We got no police protection and were forced to come back. The members of the Patidar community had blocked both the roads, making it impossible for us to move. We hope police give us protection on Monday so that the wedding ceremony passes off peacefully,” the family member said.
Recent attacks on Dalit community
In an incident of similar nature, members of upper cast community at Lhor village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district resorted to a social boycott of Dalit community because a bridegroom from the community rode a horse at his wedding procession on May 7.
On May 8, a day after the marriage of 24-year-old Mehul Parmar, sarpanch of the village announced that they were “disturbed” over this marriage procession because Dalits in the village “did not maintain their limits”. The announcement was made during a meeting at the village temple, where everyone barring Dalits was invited. Following the declaration of social boycott, a Dalit woman in Lhor village was denied service when she went to buy flour. Another Dalit woman, too, was not allowed to buy grocery.
Police registered an FIR on May 9 based on the complaint of the bridegroom’s father, under different provisions of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Indian Penal Code. Five upper caste men, including the sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of the village, may be arrested soon, Mehsana SP Nilesh Jajadia said.
On April 26, upper-caste men allegedly beat a 21-year-old Dalit man to death at Garhwal district in Uttarakhand for having dinner sitting on a chair in front of them at a wedding, reported Hindustan Times.
The deceased’s uncle, Elam Das, narrating the harrowing incident, said, “He told us that on the wedding night, he was having dinner while sitting on a chair before the accused upper-caste men. Seeing him sitting on a chair, they got enraged and kicked his plate before kicking him off the chair using caste-based expletives for daring to sit in front of them.”
After the assault, Jitendra left the venue to go home, but the accused again thrashed him up on his way back. Pritam Das, Jitendra’s cousin, confirmed that his brother was hit on the head and also on his private body parts. He was so brutally beaten up that he could not manage to enter his house and ended up sleeping on the verandah. He was found unconscious the next morning. The nearby hospital he was rushed to referred him to Dehradun.
The Logical Indian take
From centuries, unjust treatment has been meted out to Dalits considered to occupy the ‘lowest level’ of social hierarchy. Stronger forces from the upper caste community have always discriminated against Dalits.
It is sad that very little has changed since India became independent in 1947. Our constitution, which was adopted in 1949, specifically upholds liberty and equality for every citizen of India.
The Logical Indian deeply condemned atrocities against Dalit community across India. And hopes that authorities to take strict action against the accused in these cases.