In a one-of-a-kind gesture, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), a federal police organisation in India, organised a mass wedding ceremony on Sunday (January 8) in the Maoist-hit district of Sukma in Chhattisgarh. The event was held at the district office, where 12 couples exchanged vows and began a new chapter in their lives. The Sukma Mini stadium served as the venue for the affair.
The Maoist-infested district of Chhattisgarh appears to be evolving over time. The uniform-clad CRPF jawans, whom the locals formerly feared, are now viewed as their saviours.
Newlyweds Receive Gifts & Money
During the wedding, some soldiers assumed the role of the bride's brother while others took on the part of the groom's relative. Officials from the forces also offered gifts to the newlyweds. Twelve pairs of sarees were given as gifts to the couples, along with a small donation of ₹ 1,100 as a blessing. DN Yadav, the commandant of the 74 corps of the CRPF, facilitated the wedding.
According to Haris S, the district collector, the plan for a mass wedding by the second battalion is commendable. He said, "Participation in the program is commendable. We hope to see more such in the future. The district administration will cooperate fully in such a programme," as per NDTV.
Bridging Gap With Locals In Maoist-Hit Areas
The mass wedding ceremony was part of the ongoing efforts of the CRPF to reach out to the local community and build trust. The force has been deployed in the region to counter the threat of Maoist rebels, who have been active in the area for many years.
As part of the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' programme, the CRPF had earlier delivered national flags to isolated villages of Bastar during Independence Day. They also covered those villages where flag hoisting had not occurred since Independence due to Maoist-related threats. Such gestures are employed to improve relations with locals living in a shadow.
The most significant paramilitary force has 38 battalions for counter-insurgency operations throughout Bastar in Chhattisgarh. A battalion has about 1,000 personnel in it.
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