Tribune News Service
Bhusthla (Kurukshetra), May 22
A Dalit groom was allegedly stopped by dominant caste men from carrying out the marriage ritual of “ghurchari” at Bhusthla village in the district last night.
A mob of Rajput youths from Busthala, about 25 km from Kurukshetra, and adjoining villages allegedly threatened Sandeep (24) for breaking traditions.
The groom was also not allowed to pay obeisance in six different temples on the eve of the marriage as the family refused to move without a horse in the village.
However, the barat left for Yamunanagar at around 11 am under police protection.
“As we were preparing for Sandeep’s “ghurchari” last night, a group of Rajput youths came in the basti and threatened us to stay away from using horse-driven chariot. They said the tradition was not meant for the lower castes and its violation would be violently answered,” Mithu, groom’s uncle, said at the groom’s one-room house.
As the family stepped out of the basti in a flower-decked “rath”, the youths started pelting it with stones.
Police was called by the panicked Dalits as members of Rajput community gathered in a large number outside the basti.
According to the villagers at least three police personnel sustained injuries in the melee but the district police authorities deny the reports.
“It was only after some Dalit youths started filming the violent behavior of the Rajput youth, they started moving away,” said Kulwinder Kaur, sister-in-law of Sandeep.
Kurukshetra SP Simardeep Singh said 20 persons had been booked under various sections of the IPC and The SC and The ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. No arrest had been made till Sunday evening.
“Ample police force has been deployed since last night to ensure order in the village. Strict action will be initiated against the identified culprits,” said the SP.
However, Krishna Devi is worried if her daughter-in-law Meena would be allowed to visit the village temples.
“The way Rajput reacted to “ghurchari”, I am concerned about the newly-wed couple’s safety. During the recent elections of panchayats, members of Rajput community did visit Balmiki Basti and even ate food at our homes. But when it came to “ghurchari”, they were after our lives,” she said.
Villagers said in 2007 also, another Dalit youth was forced not to use a horse in his marriage but the matter was resolved by the village elders.
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