Dalit groom assaulted and forced off horse during wedding ceremony in Gujarat Higher caste assailants target Dalit groom at wedding, eject him from horse over caste prejudice, our arrested

16, Feb 2024 | CJP Team

A video emerged on social media showing a group of family members merrily dancing next to a groom named Vikas Chavda on a horse. The happy moment was soon disturbed by a man who came and slapped the groom, forcing him off the horse. The incident comes from Gujarat’s n Chadasana village in Gandhinagar District where the groom was pushed and beaten off the horse due to his Dalit identity. He was also reportedly threatened and subjected to casteist slurs. 

The accused not only subjected the groom to physical assault and slurs but also stated that horse-riding was reserved only for members of their own group according to the complaint. The first man was reportedly joined by three more people who joined in the verbal abuse and threats against the victim. As a result of this violence, the groom was forced to abandon the traditional horse ride and instead use for a car to reach the bride’s house for their wedding.

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The four people have been identified as Sailesh Thakore, Jayesh Thakore, Samir Thakore, and Ashwin Thakore. They all belong to the OBC section, and have been arrested by the authorities. The charges filed against them include sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 114 (abettor present when offence committed), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 

The Dalit community forms about 17 %of the nation’s population yet as per statistics by the NCRB from 2020, India has witnessed a crime against Dalits with one incident taking place at every 10 minutes. This statistic reveals the persistent challenges of casteism faced by the Dalit community.

Sanjay Chavda, the person who filed the complaint spoke to Deccan Herald stating that, “The wedding procession had just started when the assault happened. We were humiliated so much that I can describe. Ultimately, we had to take the groom in the car to the bride’s house. We also called up the police who came and the ceremony was performed.”

According to The Wire, Deputy Superintendent of Police Gandhinagar Kalol Division Praveen Manwar has stated to the media that the ‘clash’ was reported over loud music, “When a wedding procession in Chadasana village of Mansa went with a DJ sound system, three people from the village opposed it, resulting in a clash with two parties. The clash began over the issue of playing the DJ sound, and then there was a dispute over the issue of sitting on the horse.”

Dalits are routinely assaulted in certain parts of India if they ride horses. In 2024, a Dalit groom had to ride a horse for his wedding celebrations under police protection in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district. The relative of the groom a day before the wedding had gone to the local police station requesting for police protection for part where his nephew would ride a horse at the wedding. The groom stated that he climbed the horse, ‘despite fear,’ according to Two Circles

Similarly, in Rajasthan, where such similar instances have taken place earlier, government officials have had to run special drives to encourage Dalit grooms to ride horses in one district named Bundi. The district police official in Bundi who started the program told the Washington in 2022 Post that ‘laws are not enough. We have to change the mindset.’ The programme has as of 2022 facilitated 15 Dalit grooms in safely riding a horse during their weddings. Even the state government, as per the report, has recognised the efforts of the programme. 

Image: A screengrab from a video of the incident.


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