Police had to resort to a baton charge on Sunday after members of the Patidar community allegedly stopped a Dalit man's wedding procession in Gujarat's Aravalli district and the two sides pelted stones at each other.
The incident occurred in the evening in Khambiasr village and officials said a posse of cops had been rushed to the spot to maintain peace. Several people and policemen were injured in the stone pelting.
The wedding procession, which was held up for over five hours, could not proceed to the marriage venue due to the ruckus and family members of the groom blamed the police for the situation.
Patidar community members had stalled the procession by crowding the main road and singing bhajans and performing a yagna, the police said.
"Police have been deployed in large numbers. The situation is peaceful. The groom's family has been provided protection and we will give them cover on Monday as well," Gandhinagar Range Inspector General of Police Mayank Chavda said.
Chavda said members of both the communities had been called to sort out matters and bring about peace in the area.
One of the family members of the groom, however, alleged that they had sought protection, but the police failed in getting the procession to move forward.
"We got no police protection and were forced to come back. The members of Patidar community had blocked both the roads, making it impossible for us to move. We hope police give us protection on Monday so that the wedding ceremony passes off peacefully," the family member said.
In another incident on Sunday, the wedding procession of a Dalit bridegroom at a village in Sabarkantha district had to be provided police cover after members of the Thakor community objected to the groom offering prayers at a local temple. The procession, however, passed off peacefully, police said.
Anil Rathod's family had sought police protection after elders of Sitvada village, belonging to the Thakor community, had objected to the procession passing through the village and his plans to offer prayers at the Bhikhabhai Vaniya temple, a villager said.
The Thakor community members had also objected to a wedding procession as the bridegroom was riding a horse on way to the wedding venue. "The family of the Anil Rathod submitted an application to the police seeking protection for the wedding procession. In their application, the Dalit members of the village had raised apprehension that members of another community might create trouble," district Deputy Superintendent of Police Meenakshi Patel said.
"We offered police protection to the marriage procession and it passed off peacefully. The groom also visited the village temple before he left for a nearby village for the marriage ceremony," the DSP said.