“Am I not a Hindu then?… There cannot be separate rules for people governed by one Constitution,” asking Sanjay Kumar, a 27-year-old Dalit youth, who has been struggling from the last few months, just for the sake of taking out his ‘baraat’ through his bride’s Thakur-dominated area. Kumar, a resident of Basai Babas village in Hathras district of western Uttar Pradesh, has left no stone unturned to make his dream turn into reality. On March 15, he moved the Allahabad High Court and has written several letters to every government officials. “When the Constitution says we are all equal, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says we are all Hindus, and he heads a Hinduvadi party, why am I facing such a situation,” the Indian Express quoted Kumar as saying.

After seeking help from government officials including the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, it seems like Kumar still have to go a long way to take out his marriage procession from the route he desires. After, he moved to Allahabad HC, Kasganj District Magistrate (DM) RP Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP) Piyush Srivastava, visited his bride’s village Nizamabad last week. After investigating, DM Singh rejected his plea stating narrow roads, drains, and garbage. They further checked if there had been any other marriage procession of a Dalit had ever used the same route. They came to know there were none after which they suggested Kumar to follow the usual route.

Kumar and his bride both belong to the Jatav cast, which is a minority in the Thakur dominated village. After the Thakur’s got to know about Kumar’s request, they reportedly started troubling the Jatavs.  From stating Sheetal a minor to cutting off the water supply to Jatav fields, Thakur’s have done it all.  “We don’t have a problem. Let the wedding happen, we don’t have an allergy. The problem is someone forcibly coming into our territory and breaking boundaries. When a baraat has never come down our path then why are they trying to provoke a row?” Pradhan Kanti Devi, a Thakur from the village, asked.

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The issue sparked after the Jatav’s having an allegiance towards Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), became a resident of a small village having Thakur as a majority. Reports said the police have got around 11 Jatavs and 24 Thakurs to sign on bonds stating they wouldn’t create violence in the area to which the Thakurs have agreed to extend all help.

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