Dalit Jawan dragged down from horse, beaten on wedding day

Gandhinagar: A Dalit army jawan was reportedly beaten up in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district on Sunday. The Jawan’s wedding procession faced stone pelting from the Thakor Koli community because the groom was riding a mare. The incident occurred despite police protection for the procession.

Subjected to casteist slurs, the 27-year-old groom from the Dalit community was dragged down from a horse in his wedding procession, and allegedly beaten up in Saripada village, some 12 km from Palanpur on Sunday.

“Earlier, we received threats from a few people from the Thakor Koli community that they would not allow the procession to pass through the village if the groom rode a mare. We gave a written request for police security after which 6-7 police personnel were deployed to accompany the wedding procession. However, after the procession started moving, a group of people started throwing stones. The groom narrowly escaped an injury and was taken to the police control room van. However, three of our relatives, including two women, were injured in the stone-pelting,” said Akash’s brother Vijay Koitiya, according to the Indian Express.

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“He had come to his village for marriage a few days back. When we tried to ignore the objections raised by upper-caste members of the village, they pelted stones. A 60-year-old man and some women playing Garba were injured, and a DJ sound system was damaged,” Dalapatbhai Bhatia, president of the Dalit Samaj in Banaskantha told PTI.

The police have said they have registered an FIR and the situation is under control. In the FIR, 11 Thakor Kolis have been named – Senji Koli, Shivaji Koli, Deepak Koli, Tushar Koli, Bhavan Koli, Vinod Koli, Ramaji Koli, Deepak Ishwar Koli, Bai Koli, Manju Koli, and Jeetu Koli. No arrests have been made so far.

“We have booked 11 accused under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (assault), 337 (causing hurt by rash act) 294 (obscenity), 506 (criminal intimidation) 147 (rioting) and 148 (rioting with deadly weapon) along with sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act),” P.G. Rajput, officer in charge of Gadh police station, told the Indian Express.

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