Dalit Groom Rides Horse in Guj, Community Faces Village Boycott
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.
"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.
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.