As many as ten people have been arrested for allegedly pelting stones at a Dalit wedding procession in Rajasthan's Jaipur district on Friday, November 26.
Police said the incident took place late on Thursday night when the wedding procession of a Dalit groom, who was riding a mare had reached the bride's house in Pawta's Kairodi village.
The bride's family members alleged that stone-pelting continued for 15 minutes despite 75 police officials deployed to provide them protection
"It is rare in our village for Dalits to ride mare during the wedding procession. I wanted to bring a change and break this tradition of discrimination. People from the Rajput community in our village often warn that they won't let us ride the mare. I suspected that there might be opposition and had submitted applications to the police and district administration on November 15, requesting protection," Haripal Balai, the bride's father told The Indian Express.
Balai added that police officials and local politicians had even visited him and had assured him that no untoward incident would occur.
"I remember one occasion some forty years back when I was a child, wherein stones were pelted on a procession of Dalits. I saw history repeat once again yesterday evening when despite the presence of police personnel, a shower of stones was pelted at my son-in-law while he was riding the mare. Nearly 10-15 people from our families got hit. Those who pelted stones are from the Rajput community and most of them are my neighbours," Balai added.
He informed that the attackers pelted stones while hiding behind bushes before running away.
"The stones were pelted because they couldn't tolerate Dalits riding mares," said Balai, who is in his late fifties.
Ten People Arrested
"We have arrested 10 people from the Rajput community so far and 75 police personnel have been deployed at the spot. The attack was sudden and lasted only for seconds. Three people have been injured in the incident. The family has filed an FIR naming 18 people. Of the 10 arrested, six are those who were named while the involvement of others was revealed in our investigation," said Dinesh Kumar Yadav, circle officer, Kotputli.
He added that an FIR has been registered under IPC sections 323(punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341(punishment for wrongful restraint) along with sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Dalit outfits have said they will reach the village in solidarity on November 28, when Balai's son is married.
"The Bhim Army will visit the family on November 28 to be part of the wedding and support them. Recently there have been several incidents wherein Dalit wedding processions have been attacked because of the groom riding mare. We will protest if stringent action is not taken against the accused," warned Anil Dhenwal, Rajasthan president of the Azad Samaj Party and former state president of the Bhim Army.
The police later took action against three officials over the incident. Jaipur Rural SP Manish Agarwal said that three police officials — additional SP Kotputli, CO Kotputli and SHO Pragpura police station — were put on awaiting posting orders (APO).