Man barred from last rites of kin by caste panchayat

Pune, April 18: A 55-year-old man was barred from attending last rites of his kin allegedly by a caste panchayat on the ground that his son had married out of the community, police said on Monday, April 18.

Shankar Dangi, who belongs to Goud-Brahmin community, yesterday registered a case against six members of the community, for not allowing him to take part in the last rites of his uncle on April 8, saying that his son had married a girl from a different community, an official attached to the Sahakar Nagar police station said.


Dangi claimed he also came to know that he was allegedly ostracised from the community by the caste panchayat members. The Maharashtra Assembly on April 13 had unanimously approved the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill, which seeks to crackdown on extra-judicial bodies like caste and community panchayats.

Members of the panchayat also allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh to take him and his family back in the community, the officer said. The complainant, a businessman told PTI, "For entire life, I and my family took care of my ailing uncle and bore all the medical expenses and after his death made all the arrangements for his last rites on April 8."

However, Dangi claimed that during the last rites, some of the members from the community told him to go away from the cremation site. "When I questioned them, they told me that since my son has married to a girl from different community, we have been boycotted by the community and (the members) also demanded Rs one lakh to regain the position in society," he claimed.

"Since, it was all of a sudden, I tried to oppose the decision, but looking at the situation, I and my family left the crematorium and later decided to lodge complaint against the regressive tradition," Dangi said. He claimed that his son had married a girl from other Brahmin community five years ago.

Two years ago, when another relative had passed away, the community members did not had raised on objections, he said. "We are educated people and can not tolerate such evil and repressive practises," he added.

A case under sections 120(B)(criminal conspiracy), 384 (extortion), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 ( criminal intimidation) and other relevant sections of IPC was registered against six persons of the community, Shashikant Shinde, in-charge of Sahakar Nagar police station said. No arrests have been made so far, Shinde said.


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