DAYS AFTER the wedding procession of a Dalit woman was stopped by a group of men belonging to an upper caste in Kanpur Dehat who then barged into the wedding venue and allegedly assaulted members of the wedding party with lathis, two persons were arrested on Sunday. On Saturday, an FIR was registered against 10 named and 50 unidentified persons in connection with the incident.
The incident was reported from a village under Rajpur police station limits in Kanpur Dehat on Wednesday.
“The incident happened when the ‘baraat’ (wedding procession) headed to attend the wedding of a Dalit woman was stopped by upper caste men because they wanted their community’s wedding procession to move ahead first. The Dalit family took their wedding party ahead first in the presence of a police team, who reached the spot after being informed. Later, the upper caste men forcibly entered the wedding venue and beat up people there,” said a police officer.
A case was registered on Saturday after a video of the alleged assault surfaced on social media. In the video, a group of men are purportedly seen brandishing lathis while trying to break open the doors of a guest house where the wedding of the Dalit woman was taking place.
“The 10 named accused are Digvijay Singh, Ram Chandra, Bhagwan Singh, Anurag Singh, Sachin Singh, Shivam Singh, Deepak Singh, Indrajeet, Kallu and Chandan,” they added.
Station House Officer of Rajpur Anurag Pandey said, “Two people who were named in the FIR have been arrested. Further investigation is on.”
The case was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections for rioting, voluntarily causing hurt, assault, criminal intimidation, and other and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The FIR was registered on Saturday on the basis of a complaint filed by one Ramesh Kori, whose daughter Neha got married at the venue. In his complaint, Kori said, “My daughter was to get married on December 7. The same day, another wedding of a person from a different community was also scheduled in the area. When the group of upper caste men in the baraat got to know that a Dalit’s wedding procession was also being taken out the same evening, they allegedly stopped our wedding party and hurled casteist slurs. They questioned us if we have become so daring that we will take out our baraat on the same day as theirs. They told us to stop our baraat. We called the police helpline number and in the presence of police, our wedding party moved ahead. This further angered them.”
Later, around 50 people from their community came later and attacked people at the guest house where my daughter’s wedding was happening… They didn’t even spare women and children. My daughter got married in the presence of the police and everyone was scared.”
Kori’s son Aman Kori (23) told The Indian Express on Sunday, “We struggled to get our FIR registered. Our complaint was lodged only after we met the Superintendent of Police. They [accused] are influential people and have threatened us.”