Former Naxalite Podiyami Laxman will have an interesting guest list for his scheduled marriage with Kosi Markam, a surrendered cadre and his sweetheart, which includes villagers, social workers and curiously the men in khaki against whom he had once led a violent campaign for the cause of Naxalism.
Police in Naxal-infested Bastar district are working in tandem with an NGO to give final touches to the preparations for the marriage of Laxman and Markam, scheduled to be held on Gandhi Ground in Jagdalpur on Saturday.
While ‘Samajik Ekta Manch’ is bearing the expenses for the bride Markam, a resident of Darbha, police have taken Laxman, a resident of Bijapur district, under their wings.
“Police are organising Markam and Laxman’s marriage on January 16. We have almost finished the preparations for the ceremony,” Bastar Superintendent of Police, R N Das told PTI today.
Das said Markam had worked as a member of the Platoon no. 26 of Darbha Division Committee before she surrendered herself before police last year.
“Laxman, who served as a deputy commander of Indravati Area Committee, had laid down arms in 2014. Laxman and Markam were staying in a camp under police protection. They recently expressed their desire to tie the knot in presence of police, following which we decided to marry them off with fanfare,” the officer said.
He said Laxman and Markam’s love blossomed while they were working as Naxal cadres, but they could not muster courage to express their love or get married as it is forbidden for ultras.
“The Naxal cadres are not allowed to marry and if anybody defies this diktat, he is forcibly sterilised,” the officer said.
Manish Parikh, member of the Manch, said his NGO discussed the matter with villagers and other members of society before deciding to foot expenses for Markam.
“A total of 4,000 invitation cards have been printed for the ceremony and prominent people have been invited. The marriage will be performed traditionally and the gifts received on the occasion will be handed over to the couple,” Parakh said, adding they want to give message to Naxals to lay down arms and join the mainstream.