Maha: Six ‘jaat panchayat’ members booked for ostracising 13 couples for inter-caste marriages

Inspector Jadhav said the six persons were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016.

Pune: A case has been registered against six members of a ‘jaat panchayat’ (group of caste leaders) in Sangli district of Maharashtra for allegedly ordering a social boycott of at least 13 couples for inter-caste marriages, police said on Sunday.

The jaat panchayat of Nandiwale community, a nomadic tribe, had given a fresh order of social boycott during its meeting held on January 9 at Palus in Sangli, they said.

A man, who is one of the victims and the complainant in the case, said these 13 couples had got married years back in different parts of the district.

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Inspector Vikas Jadhav of Palus police station said, “We have registered a case against six members of the jaat panchayat for allegedly socially boycotting 13 couples for marrying outside their community.”

A complaint in this connection was lodged by Prakash Bhosale (42), who said he himself had done inter-caste marriage in 2007, following which he was ostracised from the community by the jaat panchayat.

“There are several victims like me from our community, who were also boycotted for marrying outside the caste. In December last year, a meeting was convened by some members of the community at Karad (in Satara district), in which it was decided that these couples should be allowed to become a part of the community again. I was present at that meeting,” he said.

However, some members later objected to this decision and called a meeting on January 9 at Palus, wherein it was conveyed that these couples cannot be taken back into the community, Bhosale said.

“After that, we approached the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, and with their help, a complaint was registered against the six members of the jaat panchayat,” he said.

Inspector Jadhav said the six persons were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016.

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