In a fresh incident of attack on Dalits, a wedding procession was attacked on Saturday night allegedly by some upper caste members for following the tradition of a groom riding a horse during a wedding procession in Aravalli district.
According to police, the incident took place in Kudol village of Modasa taluka in the newly carved district of north Gujarat, when the groom, identified as Ketan, was riding a horse, followed by a procession with a music band.
According to reports, despite eight policemen accompanying the procession, apprehending such a situation, a mob of around 40-50 people, allegedly belonging to the upper castes, pelted stones at the Dalits.
“The incident occurred around 10.30 pm. The procession was passing through an area in the village that was not well lit. Some miscreants took advantage of that and pelted stones at the procession. Four to five men were injured in the incident, while one of the policemen also suffered injuries on his head,” said PSI Arjunsinh Vala, in-charge of Modasa rura police station.
The groom’s father, Muljibhai Chamar, lodged an FIR with the police, accusing 27 villagers, mostly belonging to the Darbar (Kshatriya) and Brahmin communities, of attacking them. He said that despite the attack the procession continued and reached Shamlaji, where the wedding was conducted under police protection.
According to the PSI, eight offenders were arrested by Sunday evening, while a hunt to nab the others is still on. Locals said the attack took place in police presence. The groom’s family had sought protection, following a warning from some members of the upper castes against riding a horse and taking out the procession, a tradition called “varghodo” meaning “groom’s horse”, which the upper caste communities claim is a tradition not meant for Dalits. In a similar incident at Tajpuri village in Himmatnagar taluka of Sabarkantha district on March 6, two dozen Dalits had been injured after being beaten up by some members of the upper castes.