Dalit wedding procession attacked in Rajasthan

Upper caste men forced Dalit groom to dismount from mare

The assailants were allegedly infuriated on seeing a Dalit groom riding a mare, a practice which is still considered as an exclusive privilege of the upper caste. 

Twenty-six-year-old Uday Lal Bidoli, a Dalit groom, was forcibly made to dismount a mare after a group of upper-caste men allegedly attacked his wedding procession in Bhilwara’s Gordhanpura village on Sunday night. Seven people have been arrested so far. 
 
A day before the marriage, during 'Bindoli', a traditional ceremony in Rajasthan where a groom rides a mare, stones were hurled and groom's friends were beaten up. Four people were injured. The injured were taken to the nearby private hospital. The groom's best friend Suresh Meghwanshi, also the organiser of the ceremony, was thrashed badly. 
 
The assailants were allegedly infuriated on seeing a Dalit groom riding a mare, a practice which is still considered as an exclusive privilege of the upper caste. 
 
The groom's family claims that police did nothing to control the attackers. "It's very painful to see how police did nothing when my brother's marriage procession was attacked by a group of upper caste men. They even misbehaved with our women who were a part of the procession,'' Bhanwar Lal Regar, the groom's younger brother, told DH. 
 
The family claims that they received threats from the villagers after the news of the groom riding a mare during 'Bidoli' spread in the village. Following this, they informed the nearby police station and sought protection. "We were fearing that the procession may be attacked which is why we informed the police. But their presence was of no use. They kept standing and did no effort in rescuing our guests," Bhawar added. 
 
However, police denied reports of inaction and claimed to control the situation and make arrests within no time. "We have arrested seven persons in connection with this case after an  FIR has been lodged,'' said Paras Jain, Addl Superintendent of police, Bhilwara.
 
An FIR has been lodged under IPC sections including 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) along with sections of the SC/ST Act.
 
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who condemned the incident said, "Such biases have no place in today's society. The perpetrators must be brought to book. The local administration and police must see to it that no caste discrimination is allowed in their areas".
 
Many such incidents have happened in Rajasthan's tribal districts in the recent past. In one of the incidents that took place in Udaipur, a tribal district, a groom was hit badly with beer bottles by upper caste men. 

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Dalit wedding procession attacked in Rajasthan

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