Kerosene Poured in Dalit Well: Punishment for Band Baaja at Wedding

Kerosene poured in to foul up the well. Photos credit: NDTV
Because a Dalit from a village in Madhya Pradesh‘dared’ to have band baaja in his wedding procession, the local upper castes poured kerosene to foul up the water in the only well on which 500 Dalits depended for drinking water and other needs.

This happened two days after the wedding of Mamta, daughter of Chander Meghwal in Maada village in Madhya Pradesh, according to a report by NDTV. The wedding procession on April 23 had passed off without incident only because it was escorted by policemen, armed with batons, rifles and teargas. But two days later, kerosene was poured into the Dalit well.

Wedding procession under police protection

Authorities have had to be called in to clean up the well. But in the meantime, Dalit women have had no choice but to fetch water from a river  2 kms away for the past week.

Dalit women scooping water from a river bed 2 kms from their village

The village “rule” permits only upper caste people to have a music band at their wedding. The Meghwals had been warned to ensure that no band baaja accompanied the bridegroom’s party when it entered the village to marry Mamta. But the Dalits of the village stood by the Meghwal family and the collective punishment followed. 

Durvijay Singh, a senior official, told NDTV the kerosene pouring was "not such a big issue" since the various communities in the village "live in amity". "Obviously someone has done this deliberately. It will eventually come out who was responsible," he said.

But no case has been registered in the matter and no investigation has been started, although the police have been stationed again in the village to provide protection to Dalits.




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