Villagers in Gujarat boycott 17 lower-caste families over inter-caste marriage

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Seventeen families of the barber (Nai) community in Bhutavad village in the Indian state of Gujarat have been facing a social boycott since a month after a man from the community married an upper-caste woman.

The boy Sachin Nai’s parents said that he and the girl, an upper-caste girl belonging to the Chowdhary (Patel) community, got married a few months ago without informing either side of the families.

“But a few days ago, Sachin contacted the family and appeared in front of Gandhinagar police station. But since then my son has not been able to contact us,” said Subash Nai, father of Sachin.

“On December 9th, I received the marriage certificate by post. As soon as the people in the village came to know, they boycotted 17 families of our community and are constantly pressurising us to send the girl back else they will not let even a single family stay in the village. They have also cut off our electricity and pelted stones at the house,” he further said.

One of the members of the 17 boycotted families, Prabhudas said, “They have stopped selling milk and other groceries to the Nai families, children are not allowed to attend school, and even a pregnant woman is treated badly.”

She said, “We tried to talk to upper caste males, they are adamant on not allowing us to live in the village.” She demanded that the district administration should intervene.—KMS