Monday, April 18, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Inter-caste marriage sets off tension

Inter-caste marriage sets off tension

* April 18, 2011
* Correspondent
* Patna

Tension prevails in two Bihar villages after what seems to be an ugly
return of old caste-based rivalries, which led to the burning of a
dozen homes of dalit and backward families allegedly by the upper
castes after a Brahmin youth was forced to marry an OBC woman.
The adjoining villages of Harichanda and Panchobh, about 15 km off the
north Bihar town of Darbhanga, witnessed a sudden outbreak of
caste-fuelled enmities during a celebration of Ambedkar Yayanti on
Thursday evening. Upper-caste villagers from Panchobh village,
reportedly angry for the inter-caste marriage, demolished a statue of
dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar and vandalised a temple before burning down
at least a dozen thatched homes of the lower-caste families.
While 45 people from the upper castes have so far been arrested and
the Darbhanga district administration has begun providing aide to the
lower-caste families, the two villages continue to be in the grip of
tension. Both the upper castes, mainly Brahmins, and the lower castes
of dalits and OBCs feel persecuted by each other and the police fear a
possibility of similar attacks by any one side on the other.
Sources said Navin Kumar of Panchobh, a Brahmin, was forced to marry
Poonam Kumari of Harchanda, an OBC girl, after they were spotted in an
objectionable situation on Wednesday.

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