A group of upper-caste villagers allegedly attacked a Dalit wedding procession in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan on Sunday night after they saw the groom riding a mare. Police have taken seven people into custody so far and filed a case under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“The police watched silently on Sunday night as the men armed with sticks, stones and axes beat us,” Bhanwar Lal Regar, the groom’s brother, told The Indian Express. “They even misbehaved with the women in the procession and tore their clothes.”
He said upper-caste villagers had also stopped his elder brother’s wedding procession in 2010. He alleged that police provided the family security on its request, but did not do anything on Sunday night.
The attackers, around 40-50 in number, were mostly from the Gurjar community, according to Regar. They beat up the groom and forced him off the mare, according to ANI. Some people were injured and were taken to hospital.
The police denied the family’s claim that they did not act. “It’s wrong to say that the police did nothing,” Additional Superintendent of Police Paras Jain said. “The attack did take place but the police controlled the situation and prevented it from escalating. We have taken seven people under preventive custody who will later be arrested under relevant sections.”
Police have filed a case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.