Dalit Family Intimidated for Gifting Bike, Wedding Held Under Heavy Police Protection

Dalit wedding processions face threats in Western Uttar Pradesh. Often the marriage parties have to seek police protection for peaceful celebrations.
Dalit Family Intimidated for Gifting Bike, Wedding Held Under Heavy Police Protection

Uttar Pradesh— A Valmiki family in Western Uttar Pradesh has recently come under threat for presenting motorcycle as a gift to a newly-wed couple. Despite the region's past notoriety for incidents of Dalit oppression and inter-caste tensions between Jats and Jatavs, Rishipal Valmiki was unaware that offering a motorcycle would incur the wrath of some individuals from the Yadav community in his village. According to Rishipal, the village head, who is a member of the Yadav community, forbade the family from bestowing gifts as typically done by higher caste families.

In light of the threats, the Valmiki family took proactive measures to prevent any untoward incident. A video surfaced on social media, where Arti, the sister-in-law of the bride, Kavita, and daughter-in-law of Rishipal Valmiki, is seen saying that they are the only Valmiki family in the village dominated by the Yadavs, who have threatened to prevent the wedding procession from entering the village if the motorcycle gift was given. She also mentioned that the village head is against them as they did not vote for him in the elections. To mitigate the risk, Rishipal approached the police for protection during the wedding. In a letter, he requested police protection for the safety and security of his daughter's nuptials.

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Written assurances taken: Police

In response to the Valmiki family's complaint, the police took prompt action by dispatching a team to the Ghughaiya village. Upon investigation, the police did not encounter any credible threat and the individuals accused of making the threats even provided written assurance that they had no issue with the wedding. Despite this, the police took a prudent approach and provided security as a preventive measure to ensure the smooth progression of the wedding ceremony. According to the officials from the Sambhal Police's social media department, the event took place peacefully.

This recent incident in Western Uttar Pradesh follows a similar occurrence in November last year in the same district, where a Dalit groom's wedding procession was escorted by 60 police officers due to a complaint from the bride's family about restrictions imposed by members of upper castes on the procession. This previous incident also took place in the Gunnaur area.It is worth mentioning that Western Uttar Pradesh has a significant number of incidents involving stone-throwing or threats of stone-throwing during Dalit wedding processions. In recent years, many Dalit families have resorted to seeking police protection to prevent any unwanted incidents.

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