NHRC issues notice to the Government of Rajasthan over reported attack by some upper caste people on a pre-wedding procession of Dalits in the presence of police in Bhilwara district (01.05.2018)

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi, 1st May, 2018
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that on the 29th April, 2018, during a pre-wedding procession, a Dalit family was attacked in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district by the people belonging to upper caste after the groom rode a mare during the traditional "Bindoli" ceremony, which is observed a day before the wedding. As per news report, four people were injured in the presence of police personnel, who stood mute witness during the attack.

The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Rajasthan calling for a detailed report in the matter, within four weeks along with measures taken for relief and rehabilitation of the victims.

The Commission has observed that the incident, if true, indicates that in spite of specific provisions under law and awareness campaign run by the authorities, people belonging to Dalit community are still being subjected to discrimination and they are not safe even after giving prior intimation to the police authorities. The rights to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the victims, belonging to the Dalit community, have been grossly violated due to inaction by the State authorities.

According to the media report, carried on the 1st May, 2018, the Additional Superintendent of Police, Bhilwara has denied the allegations stating that seven persons have been taken under preventive custody who will be arrested under relevant sections of law. He has also stated that an FIR has been registered u/s 323, 341, 354 IPC along with relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

It is also reported that in the year 2010, a similar procession during the groom's elder brother's wedding was also stopped by the villagers belonging to upper caste. The victims have also stated that they were getting constant threats after deciding to bring a mare for the "Bindoli" procession. Keeping in view the threats, an application to the police authorities was already given but at the time of attack, the police personnel did nothing. The brother of the groom has alleged that the police watched silently as the men, armed with sticks, stones and axes, beat them. They also misbehaved with women in the procession; their clothes were also torn.
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