| Amit garlands his bride Sageena at Giddha village, a Maoist stronghold in Sitamarhi district. Telegraph picture |
A marriage solemnised by a frontal organisation of the Maoists in north Bihar has caught police off guard.
The marriage was conducted at Giddha village, a tri-junction of Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur and Sheohar districts, on the last day of 2012. After the wedding, held without any baarat (wedding party) or traditional drum beatings near a memorial built in the memory of senior Maoist leaders killed in encounters with security personnel, the couple were made to vow that they would live together.
Hundreds of people gathered at Giddha to witness the wedding solemnised under the banner of Nari Mukti Morcha, a frontal organisation of the banned CPI(Maoist).
Amit, 24, a resident of Delho village in the Madhuban area of East Champaran district, married Sageena, 22, a resident of Ganga Dharampur village in Sheohar’s Tariyani area. Instead of the parents of the bride and the groom, activists of the Morcha such as Sanju, Sangeeta and Rita deposed as witnesses to their wedding.
“The marriage was solemnised on the concluding day of the three-day shaheed mela (fair in memory of ‘martyrs’) organised in the village every year,” a senior member of the Tirhut sub-zone committee of the CPI(Maoist) said. He added that it was an adarsh vivah (ideal marriage) aimed at redressing evils like dowry.
The fair was opened for the general public on December 31 and concluded with the wedding of Amit and Sageena. “Such a wedding has been solemnised for the first time at the memorial site,” a resident of Giddha said.
Police officials of the Runnisaidpur police station in Sitamarhi district admitted that a village fair was organised at Giddha from December 27 to December 30 by residents but denied the involvement of the Maoists. “We had deployed police force at the village fair, which is an annual affair,” said Vishal Anand, the station house officer of Runnisaidpur police station. However, the residents alleged that the police were present on the first day of the fair but were not seen on the concluding day.
Sitamarhi superintendent of police Pankaj Sinha said he has asked the officers concerned to ascertain the involvement of Maoist leaders, if any, in the wedding. “Let me inquire into the matter. I have got such information from your side,” the officer told The Telegraph on phone from Sitamarhi.
Giddha, around 110 km northeast from Patna, is considered a safe zone of the Maoists, who virtually run a parallel administration in at least a dozen villages that come under the jurisdiction of Tariyani and Minapur police stations in Sheohar and Muzaffarpur, respectively. The situation can be gauged from the fact that even policemen feared to trudge in the areas in daytime. “The residents cannot move in the areas without help from central para-military forces or the special task force of Bihar Police,” a resident of Runnisaidpur said.