Saturday, December 29, 2007

Man 'marries' hill to end Maoist menace

Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 08:30. India News

By IANS

Ranchi : A tribal man married a hill in a symbolic gesture to end Maoist insurgency in Jamshedpur district of Jharkhand. The man is already married with two children.

The 'marriage' was solemnised in Bomaru village of Ghatshila block in Jamshedpur on Thursday, 170 km from the state capital Ranchi. According to reports in the local media, Nandi Munda, 30, 'married' a hill named Lakhasaini to end the Maoist terror in the area.

Munda, dressed as a traditional bridegroom, went to marry the hill accompanied by hundreds of baratis (revellers). A tribal priest presided over the wedding rituals. The wedding was followed by a feast attended by hundreds of people. The menu included mutton and handia, a local rice brew that tribals love.

After the wedding, the local youths constituted a private army which will guard the villages against the Maoist rebels and fight them.

Munda said he 'married' the hill because he was told to do so by the goddess of the hills. "One day, the goddess of hill appeared in my dream. She asked me to marry her to end the menace of the Maoist rebels and help the villagers live in peace," Munda said. The villagers hope that the wedding will help them thwart the rebels.

"The goddess of the hill is very powerful. The area will be blessed by the goddess after this marriage," said Bishnoi Munda, another villager. Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. Nearly 1,000 people, including 645 civilians, have been killed in the last seven years in Jharkhand.

Marrying a hill to end the misery is not new to Jharkhand. Two years ago, a youth had married a hill in the same district to cure his mother.

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