A Dalit man rode a horse at his wedding in Gujarat and this led to a social boycott of the Schedule Caste (SC) community at his village in Mehsana.
The upper caste members of Lhor village were allegedly unhappy with him for riding the horse at his wedding on Tuesday, police official said.
Village sarpanch Vinuji Thakor, along with some other village leaders, had issued a diktat asking the villagers to boycott the Dalit community members, police said, adding that he has been arrested for doing so.
"On May 7, a wedding procession of Mehul Parmar passed through the village. Since he is a Dalit, some village leaders raised objections and asked the members of the community not to cross the limits," senior police officer Manjita Vanzara said.
"Next day, some prominent villagers announced a social boycott of Dalits. A penalty of Rs 5,000 was also announced on those who talk to the members of the community or carry out any kind of transactions with them," Mr Vanzara, who reached the village after getting a call from Dalit villagers on Thursday, said.
She added that apart from the arrest of village sarpanch, Vinuji Thakor, cases were registered against four others under relevant sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
The groom said that following the call for boycott, shopkeepers even refused to sell milk or other essential grocery items.
"Some villagers asked me not to take out a procession while I was riding a horse. We then sought police's help after we learned about the social boycott today morning. No one even gave us milk in the morning to make tea," he said.
Another member of the community, Vandana Parmar said that out of fear, autorickshaw drivers from the village refused to ferry them.
"Villagers were angry because a Dalit groom rode a horse during the wedding procession. We were told that Dalits do not have a right to do so. Due to the boycott, no villager is ready to provide milk, water or food items to us. Even auto drivers denied us ride till nearby Kadi town," she said.
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