The young man--Pawan's marriage was fixed with a girl in Negrun village in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh.
However, as he belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC), the local dominant upper caste communities opposed that a Dalit would ride horse in the baraat.
As per the local tradition, Dalits are still not entitled to ride horse in the 'baraat'.
However, when the baraat came, despite opposition, there was stone pelting at the girl's house and also at the 'baraat'.
The local government officials made him wear the helmet so that he didn't get hit. However, officials including a naib-tehsildar was also injured in the stone pelting.
The marriage rituals were later solemnised. The police later swung into action. Over two dozen villagers who opposed the Dalit riding a horse, and resorted to stone pelting, were booked.
The sections meant for atrocities against SC/ST, were also applied. Such opposition to Dalits are common in Bundelkhand, Chambal and Malwa regions of MP. In rural areas, upper castes still feel that 'lower caste' grooms have no right to ride a horse.
[Photo courtesy NaiDunia.com]