The Gujarat government on Wednesday assured to take strong action against elements who block wedding procession of Dalits after a few such incidents were reported from some villages in North Gujarat where the police had to be called to control the situation.
Recently, several incidents were reported from North Gujarat where wedding processions of Dalits were blocked or obstructed by dominant castes in the villages.
In a village in Mehsana district, villagers, including the sarpanch (village head), issued a call of social boycott of Dalits after a Dalit groom took out a wedding procession riding a horse in the village.
On Sunday, in another such incident, the police had to resort to a baton charge after members of the Patidar community allegedly stopped a wedding procession of a Dalit community in Aravalli distric . During the incident, people of both sides hurled stones at each other.
In another incident, the wedding procession of a Dalit bridegroom at a village in Sabarkantha district had to be provided police cover after members of the Thakor community objected to the groom offering prayers at a local temple. The procession, however, passed off peacefully amidst police deployment in the village.
“The government is very much concerned about some recent incidents that have occurred in some villages. I want to assure that stern action will be taken against those who were found involved in the incidents,” Gujarat’s junior Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja told media persons in Gandhinagar.
Mr. Jadeja added that protection will also be provided to members of the Scheduled Castes in the villages if required.
Meanwhile, the opposition party leaders slammed the State government for failing to protect Dalits and termed the government’s assurance of stern action as hollow promise.