Sanjay Kadam (29), who lives in Dombivli with his parents, married Navi Mumbai’s Sweta Gadkari (28) in 2011. Sanjay and Sweta were together in a Navi Mumbai college when they fall in love. They got married after their families agreed to the match.
Not only did Vyageshwar Seva Ganesh Mandal, which takes decisions for the village, boycott the Kadams, even his relatives were forced to sever ties with them.
The family alleged that after several attempts at rapprochement, the mandal’s members finally sent a message through a relative that the family would be accepted back if they paid a fine of Rs 1 lakh. The Kadams said they initially agreed to pay the amount but decided against it after the mandal did not give them any written assurance that they would be allowed to live peacefully thereafter.
Upset over the attitude of villagers, said Sanjay, he decided to teach them a lesson so that others are not similarly targeted over caste issues.
The Kadams approached Maharashtra State Human Right Commission (MSHRC) last Friday and then Manpada police in Dombivli on Saturday. Manpada police refused to file an FIR in the case and asked the family to go to their local village police station. On Monday, they approached Chiplun police station as their village comes under its jurisdiction. Their complaint was later faxed to the village police station.
When contacted, Manpada police refused to comment on the case.
Dilip Kadam, president of the mandal, said the allegations made by the Kadams were baseless and that they never had boycotted the family. He said the mandal was in fact shocked when they learned of the allegations.
The family, though, claimed the villagers first boycotted the wedding when they found out that Sweta belonged to a lower caste. They also threatened Sanjay’s uncle Sakharam against attending it. Sakharam was also stopped from performing his job as a pandit at the village temple. The family alleged they were not allowed to donate to the temple.
Sanjay’s father, Soma Kadam, said when they visited their village, they are not sold grocery items and were threatened with dire consequences.
(Representative Image) (TOI Photo)
“Frustrated over the harassment, we tried to convince the mandal operator several times but they did not agree to settle the matter and continued our boycott,” added Soma.
Sanjay said, “I approached MSHRC demanding action against the responsible people as the villagers are trying to restrain us from our rights.”