A group of people allegedly threw stones at a Dalit man’s wedding procession because he rode a mare in a village in Rajasthan’s Jaipur district on Thursday evening, the Hindustan Times reported.

The incident took place despite the presence of a police team, Pragpura Station House Officer Shiv Shankar Sharma said. Twelve people sustained injuries in the incident, which took place in the Kairodi village of Jaipur district.

The police have arrested 10 people in the case, and are looking for 10 others. The accused persons have been booked under sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The bride’s father Haripal Balai said that those who pelted stones were from the Rajput community, The Indian Express reported. Balai had sought police protection for the wedding as he feared that the community may object to the groom riding a mare. He alleged that people from the Rajput community have often said that they would not let Dalits ride a mare.

“It is not common in our village for Dalits to ride mare during wedding procession,” Balai said. “I wanted to break this tradition of discrimination.”

Kotputli Circle Officer Dinesh Kumar Yadav said about 75 police officers were at the spot. “The attack was sudden and lasted only seconds with the attackers using the bush and trees as cover,” he said.

The Pragpura station house officer told the Hindustan Times that the local administration had held meetings with members of various communities and requested them to maintain law and order.

“Everyone had assured of cooperation, but still the incident happened,” he said.

Congress MLA from Karauli-Dholpur Khiladi Lal Bairwa called for the suspension of the entire staff of the police station.

Three police officials – the additional superintendent of police, Kotputli, the Kotputli circle officer and the Pragpura station house officer – have been kept under the directive of “awaiting posting orders”, ANI reported.

Members of the upper caste communities have, in the past, objected to Dalit wedding processions in the state and other parts of the country.

In February 2020, a 27-year-old Dalit man was forced to get off from a horse and was beaten up in the Saripada village of Gujarat’s Palanpur district, according to The Times of India.

One year before the incident in Gujarat, members of the dominant Brahmin community in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura had allegedly stopped the wedding procession of a Dalit family. A few of those who blocked their way had stopped the wedding party from playing loud music and had also snatched the band’s musical instruments.

A group of upper-caste villagers had in April 2018 allegedly attacked a Dalit wedding procession in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan after they saw the groom riding a mare.

In March 2018, a Dalit man was allegedly killed in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district because he was riding a horse.