45 booked for blocking SC groom's horse ride in Gujarat

45 booked for blocking SC groom's horse ride in Gujarat

The Aravalli district police in north Gujarat on Friday registered an FIR against 45 persons including 16 women and a mob of about 150 people, for obstructing the marriage of a Scheduled Caste (SC) youth on May 12, allegedly for riding a horse in his wedding procession.

The police said that the accused had sat on the road, made "havan-kund" and performed 'Bhajan-Kirtan' in order to block the procession of scheduled caste youth, Jayesh Rathod.

Police said that the FIR was lodged against 45 persons including women from Patel community who took part in the road blockade. A clash had erupted between the two communities which turned violent. Stones were pelted and police vehicles were damaged by the angry mobs. The wedding was finally postponed for a day. 

An FIR has been registered after father of the groom submitted a written complaint, said Aravalli district Superintendent of Police Mayur Patil. So far, no one has been arrested. Police said that fearing police action, the accused left the village two to three days ago.

According to groom's father's complaint, some persons from Patel community had objected to the procession. This prompted Rathod to approach police on May 4 and seek security cover. He said that on May 11, a day before the incident, he and leaders of Patel community had met at Modasa rural police station where it was agreed that procession would be not be opposed, but the reality turned out to be different.

Some policemen came to the village as part of security deployment on May 12, the day of marriage. When the procession reached Patel dominated locality, the roads were found to be blocked with women performing religious activities without any prior information. It was here that the clash erupted between SC community members, Patels and the police.

Apart from this, four other similar incidents have been reported in the past ten days. In view of this, Dalit rights groups have convened a meeting in Ahmedabad on Saturday.