Uneasy calm prevailed in a Haryana village on Monday, two days after upper caste people allegedly stopped a Dalit groom from visiting a temple during his wedding procession and threw stones at marriage party and a police team with stones. The groom's father, Suresh Kumar, in a complaint filed at Jhansa police station has alleged that about 25 people led by a block samiti member threatened to kill them if they entered their temple and stopped the groom from riding a horse-carriage.
A police contingent has been deployed in Bhusthala village of the district as a precautionary measure. 21 upper caste persons were booked by the police under relevant provisions of law including the SC/ST Act but no arrests have been made so far.
"Upper caste people prevented a Dalit groom from riding a horse-cart during his marriage procession in Kurukshetra's Bhusthala village on Saturday night, leading to a clash between the two communities," Superintendent of Police Kurukshetra Simmardeep Singh said.
The family of the groom Sandeep, that had returned from Yamunanagar on Sunday night after the marriage, on Monday confined themselves to their home, fearing retaliation. Members of the Dalit community, meanwhile, met a member of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Ishwar Singh. Mr Singh visited the village along with Simmardeep, the Pehowa Sub-divisional Magistrate and other district administration officers.
Narrating the sequence of events, Sandeep's cousin Subhash Balmik told Mr Singh that tension gripped the village immediately after a horse-drawn chariot reached there on the evening of May 21, to carry the groom to a nearby temple as part of 'Mandha' ritual.
He said a few men belonging to upper castes came to their house to warn them against performing the ritual. They later announced on temple loudspeakers that whosoever tried to ride horse chariot or visit their temple would be eliminated, Mr Balmik said. According to him, the men said as per village traditions, only grooms from upper castes can ride horse during marriage ceremony.