Dalit groom’s procession stone pelted due to ‘boycott’ on lavish weddings, say cops

Two people were injured after the wedding procession of a Dalit groom was allegedly stone pelted at a village in Patan Thursday noon.

The incident occurred in Bhatsan Thursday where a mob of over 200 people from the village allegedly stone pelted the procession of Vijay Parmar. The procession was later completed under heavy police presence.

However, police said the stone pelting was the result of a “social boycott” called by the village for “wedding processions”, known as “varghoda” in Gujarati, as an austerity measure and did not reflect any caste-based animosity. No FIR has been lodged in the matter so far.

“Around seven to eight years ago, the gram panchayat of Bhatsan had made a decision that no one, irrespective of their caste, will take out a wedding procession as an austerity measure. Since then, it has been followed by people from all castes in the village. However, a few days ago, Vijay Parmar, a village native who stays in Ahmedabad, showed his interest to take out a Varghoda procession, despite protests by people from his own caste,” Vijay Patel, superintendent of police, told The Indian Express.

A minor scuffle broke out during the procession Thursday, resulting in stone pelting in which two persons were injured. “The procession was then completed under heavy police presence. The wedding ceremony is still going on and we have not received any complaints from the groom or his family yet,” Patel added.

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