Members of the upper caste communities on Sunday night, 23 January, allegedly attacked the home of a Dalit bridegroom in Ganiyari village in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district after the groom took out a wedding procession on horseback.
After learning about the incident, members of the Bhim Army and the local police reached the spot to help the groom's family and also helped him get married.
Police said a Dalit groom was riding a horse for the first time in Ganiyari village, which is dominated by the upper caste Lodhi Thakur community.
A Dalit man sitting on a horse upset the members of the upper caste communities, who claimed this was against tradition.
Sagar's Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Vikram Singh said that some people of the village ransacked the groom's house by pelting stones. "Police force has been deployed in the village for security," he said.
"A case has been filed under (sections) 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 294 (Obscene acts and songs), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), HC SC Act and others. Police is investigating the matter under the Atrocity Act. Once the investigation is complete, appropriate action will be taken," he added.
He further said that on the complaint of a certain Pramod in this case, a case had been registered against more than 20 accused under several sections, including rioting.
Others, including the accused Dharmendra Lodhi, have been arrested, and some others are being questioned, he informed.
More About the Incident
Dilip Ahirwar, 27, a resident of Ganiyari village, was getting married on Sunday, 23 January, and was going to worship while sitting on a horse. However, certain members of the village said that as per tradition, grooms from the Dalit society cannot sit on a horse.
The two parties got into an argument over the issue.
After the wedding procession left the village in the evening, some anti-social elements of the village started stoning the home of the Dalit bridegroom, other houses in the vicinity and even vandalised some cars. A strong police contingent reached the spot after the commotion to control the situation.
The Bhim Army was also actively involved in the matter.
Later, the groom's wedding procession was taken out under the supervision and protection of the police and members of the Bhim Army.
Bhim Army district president Dharmendra Ahirwar said that his help was sought in the matter.
"I sought help from the police administration, and the entire team of Bhim Army in the district reached the spot, after which we took out the procession by putting the groom on the horse," he said.
Meanwhile, the groom Dilip Ahirwar said:
"An old tradition has been going on in our village that during a marriage, the bridegroom of Ahirwar community is not allowed to sit on a horse, but today with the help of Bhim Army, we could do it."