300 cops guard marriage procession of SC man in Guj

A day after violent clashes erupted between upper caste and Schedule Caste (SCs) community members in a village in the Aravalli district of north Gujarat over a Scheduled Caste groom riding a horse, his wedding procession was carried out under heavy security from the police on Monday.

Senior police officers said that nearly 300 policemen were deployed for a stretch of nearly 20 km from where the marriage procession of Jayesh Rathod, a resident of Khambisar village in Aravalli district, took off.

The police said there were nearly 300 to 350 baraatis (friends and relatives of the groom) in the procession.

“We had deployed 100 policemen from various areas of the district. One company of the State Reserve Police (nearly 120 personnel) had also been deployed in view of the tension. Besides, there were about 50 policemen from the neighbouring Sabarkantha district,” said Mayur Patil, Superintendent of Police, Aravalli district.

The heavy security was deployed following violence in the village on Sunday when Jayesh’s marriage procession was supposed to take off.The villagers from the upper caste Patel community allegedly objected to him riding a horse and tried to block the road by performing “poojas or havans”.

When the police tried to intervene, stones were pelted on the wedding procession and violent clashes erupted among the police, the SC community and the Patels. In the clash, several policemen, including SP Mayur Patil, were injured.

Patil, however, was on duty the very next day saying his injury was minor.

“We have registered an FIR against several people for attacking the police and damaging police vehicles. We will take action once normalcy returns. We have mentioned in the FIR how the upper caste accused tried to stop the wedding procession by performing pooja or havans on the road,” Inspector General of Police Mayanksinh Chavda told DH.

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