Pune city police have booked five persons of the ‘Jaat (caste) Panchayat’ of the ‘Veershaiva Lingayat Gawali Samaj’ for allegedly socially boycotting a family from the same community during an engagement ceremony last month.
Ramchandra Bhausaheb Pangudwale (69), resident of Gawliwada in Khadki, lodged the FIR in the case at the Dattawadi police station on Monday.
Based on the complaint, police booked five persons, including Arjun Ramchandra Jangawali, Haribhau Hiranawale, Chandrakant alias Balu Auranage and two others, under sections of the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
Pangudwale belongs to the Lingayat Gawli community. His son had married a woman from another caste a few years back due to which the ‘Jaat Panchayat’ of their community had allegedly imposed a social boycott on his family.
But when Pangudwale, his wife and son reached the venue, the accused persons objected to their presence. According to allegations, the accused “socially boycotted” the family during the engagement ceremony and insulted them, forcing them to leave the venue. “Pangudwale filed a complaint application in this regard at the Dattawadi police station on December 4. However, police did not take immediate action in this case,” said Nandini Jadhav, a senior activist of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), an outfit fighting against social boycott incidents.
“We intervened in this matter…Police then lodged the FIR in this case today. Police officials were reluctant to take any action. Instead, they asked us to bring evidence. Also, they wanted the two parties to compromise, claiming the complainant would demand money from the accused persons to settle the case. We found the police officials were not having proper knowledge of the law against social boycott. Senior officers should ensure that the Dattawadi police station team does a fair investigation into this offence,” added Jadhav.