Pune: Twenty-one office bearers and members of Veershaiv Lingayat community jaat panchayat (caste panchayat) have been booked by Pune city police for allegedly ostracising a 62-year-old lawyer for marrying a Muslim woman for the last 24 years.
Of late, they had been allegedly demanding Rs 10 lakh to re-instate the complainant, Ramesh Dattu Hiranwale (Gavli), a resident of Camp, who currently lives in Fatima Nagar.
On June 19, 1992, Hiranwale married Shamshunissa Hussain Khan alias Shama Ramesh Hiranwale. "It was a love marriage. As there was opposition from my family, we had a court marriage. On the same night, a meeting was called by the jaat panchayat and it was decided to socially boycott me for the inter-religion marriage. I was also beaten up by people in the meeting. It was declared that nobody will maintain any relations with me or invite me to their social or religious gathering. if anyone invited me, then that person will also get ostracised from the community. My wife is the only child of her parents, so I started staying with her family in Camp," Hiranwale stated in his FIR registered on Tuesday with Lashkar police station.
At present, Hiranwale lives alone in Fatima Nagar while his wife Shama stays in Camp with their daughter. His second wife Nirmala lives with their son and daughter in Ghorpadi.
As per the FIR, Hiranwale was not allowed to see his ailing father. He was not able to attend his cremation also. "In the last 24 years, I apologised several times to the jaat panchayat and Veershaiv Lingayat community elders but in vain. Office bearers of the panchayat - Mankuji Aurange, Laxman Mankuji Bidkar, Kisan Janubas and Honnappa Ballappa Pailwan, demanded Rs 10 lakh to reinstate me in the community and when I could not pay the money, they refused to take me back. Last year, when I lodged a police complaint, they told me that the ban on my family will be lifted. Hence I did not pursue the case. However, me and family members were still boycotted. I was not allowed to attend engagement ceremony of my niece, neither allowed to sit in the meetings of the community in Maruti Mandir, Camp. Similarly, they have boycotted Ashok Pangudwale of Khadki and advocate Subhash Langote of Nana Peth," Hiranwale told police.
Members of Maharashtra Andhashradha Nirmolan Samiti (MANS) took up the matter with police following which summons were issued to the accused persons before registration of the FIR. One of the 21 accused has already died.
Police have charged the accused persons for offences under sections 384 (extortion), 323 (assault), 504 (insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016.