Consistent with the BJP’s outreach towards Dalits, authorities in Mahidpur tehsil of Ujjain have issued a circular to sarpanches and panchayat secretaries asking to be informed 3 days in advance if there is a wedding in Dalit family in the villages under their jurisdiction. It is said to be a precautionary measure in light of incidents where people from upper caste have objected to marriage processions of Dalits which have led to conflicts. The circular would also apply to marriages among STs and OBCs.
“It’s a precautionary measure. We want to avoid any untoward incident. After a case of atrocity is reported, it’s difficult to get evidence because the accused deny everything and come up with a different explanation. It becomes difficult to probe such cases. It’s better that police remain present during marriage processions,’’ SDM Gome told The Indian Express. SDM Gome asserted that no one had complained about the circular. He also said that police presence would discourage child marriages as it would act as a deterrent.
The order comes days after stones were allegedly pelted at a marriage procession of a Dalit youth in Mahidpur tehsil by members of the upper caste for riding a horse against the wishes of the attackers. 17 men have been arrested in connection with the incident so far.
BJP, which has its government in Madhya Pradesh, has been consistent with its outreach to Dalits. During Narendra Modi’s campaign in Karnataka, he accused the Congress of being anti-Dalit and their nomination of a Dalit, President Kovind, for the post of President. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh too has been reaching out to Dalits to ensure Hindu unity and has come up with an action plan to achieve its objective.