Dalit Groom Rides Horse in Guj, Community Faces Village Boycott

Village sarpanch Vinuji Thakor asked the villagers to boycott the Dalit community members.

2 min read
Hindi Female

A Dalit man's act of riding a horse on the occasion of his wedding resulted in the social boycott of the Schedule Caste (SC) community at a village in Mehsana district of Gujarat, police said on Thursday, 9 May.

The upper caste members of Lhor village in Kadi taluka were allegedly unhappy with the groom's move of riding the horse, the incident which occurred on Tuesday, police said.

Village sarpanch Vinuji Thakor, along with some other village leaders, had issued a diktat asking the villagers to boycott the Dalit community members, police said, adding that Thakor was arrested in this connection on Thrusday.

“On May 7, a wedding procession of one Mehul Parmar passed through the village. Since Parmar is a Dalit, some village leaders raised objections and asked the members of the community not to cross the limits”
Manjita Vanzara, Deputy Superintendent of Police

"Next day, some prominent villagers announced a social boycott of Dalits. A penalty of Rs 5,000 was also announced on those who talk to the members of the community or carry out any kind of transactions with them," Vanzara, who reached the village after getting a call from Dalit villagers on Thursday, said.

She added that apart from the arrest of village sarpanch, Vinuji Thakor, cases were registered against four others under relevant sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Talking to reporters, Mehul Parmar said that following the call for boycott, shopkeepers even refused to sell milk or other essential grocery items.

“Some villagers asked me not to take out a procession while I was riding a horse. We then sought police’s help after we learned about the social boycott today morning. No one even gave us milk in the morning to make tea,”
Mehul Parmar,  Dalit man who was boycotted

Another member of the community, Vandana Parmar, said that out of fear, autorickshaw drivers from the village even refused to ferry them.

"Villagers were angry because a Dalit groom rode a horse during the wedding procession. We were told that Dalits do not have a right to do so. Due to the boycott, no villager is ready to provide milk, water or food items to us. Even auto drivers denied us ride till nearby Kadi town," she said.

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