Odisha police play host as former naxalites tie the knot

State police helped in the rehabilitation of Ramdas and Kalamdei after their surrender

April 22, 2022 08:08 pm | Updated 08:08 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

Groom Ramdas, a former left wing extremist and bride Kalamdei from Kalahandi district married on the presence of district police in Odisha on April 22, 2022.

Groom Ramdas, a former left wing extremist and bride Kalamdei from Kalahandi district married on the presence of district police in Odisha on April 22, 2022. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

After a decade of living in the forests of Odisha and Chhattisgarh and exchanging fire with security forces, Ramdas, a former left wing extremist, appears to have found a new meaning in life.

On Friday, Mr. Ramdas tied the knot with Kalamdei Majhi, who also had renounced her earlier life negating democratic principles. When the two former naxalites, who had given up arms, wanted to return to the mainstream, the Odisha police were more than happy to play cupid.  

The special marriage was solemnised at the Reserve Police Ground in Bhawanipatna in the presence of senior police officers including Deputy Inspector General (South-Western Range) Rajesh Pandit, Kalahandi Superintendent of Police Saravana Vivek M. and Commandant CRPF (64th Battalion) Biblab Sarkar.

Hailing from a poor family, Mr. Ramdas joined the CPI (Maoist) in Chhattisgarh in the footsteps of his uncle, a CPI (Maoist) cadre, who is currently lodged in a jail in Maharashtra. Prior to surrendering before the Odisha police, Mr Ramdas had served as personal security officer to a top-rung Maoist leader.

“I was part of eight encounters with security forces in Bargarh and Kandhamal. But gradually I realised that I was fighting a hollow battle against the State,” said Mr. Ramdas, who was Area Committee Member of  Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN), carrying reward of ₹4 lakh.

Following his surrender, the Kalahandi police arranged for a reunion with his parents, two sisters and a brother, whom Mr. Ramdas had not met for 10 years since he joined the CPI (Maoist). Kalahandi police had facilitated first meeting with family after he surrendered in 2020.

Ms. Majhi, who hails from Kalahandi district, was with the Bansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali (BGN) division of the CPI (Maoist) for two years before she got disenchanted.

After their surrender, both were staying in police facilities and it was during this period that they became acquainted and decided to lead a life together.  Subsequently, their families met and granted their consent.

As per the rehabilitation policy, Mr. Ramadas was given ₹3.98 lakhs while Ms. Majhi received ₹2.98 lakhs. Both of them were given vocational training as per their choice.

“The occasion of such would send positive signal to Left Wing Extremists who desperately want to return to mainstream. The police are ready to facilitate LWEs’ return to society,” said Mr. Vivek. The district police have also arranged for a rented house for the couple.

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