For a change, police put aside their guns and batons and put up a grand wedding for two former Maoists who had surrendered, an official said here on Tuesday.
The wedding - with over 500 villagers, top police, security and civil officials in attendance - was performed with traditional pomp and decor at a private marriage hall here Monday, police spokesperson Dharmendra Joshi said.
"We organised the sumptuous wedding lunch, the 'mangalsutra' for the bride, the decorations, a wedding band and the traditional wedding gift of utensils to enable the newly-married couple set up their home," Joshi told IANS as the celebrations continued till the early hours of Tuesday.
He said the newly-married couple Santosh Kola, 24, and his bride Shanta Kudiyami, 23, were former Maoists from Nayanaguda and Yechali of Gadchiroli district.
After they surrendered, the duo said that they were in love and wanted to get married.
Santosh, a deputy commander of a Maoist outfit (Platoon 3), said in his post-surrender statement that marriages were not allowed in the extremist organisation and that men and women were made sterile.
Shanta was a member of the outfit Perimili Dalam.
The marriage preparations started a few days ago with many police and security personnel lending a helping hand to both families.
Security forces maintained a tight vigil to ward off any "unexpected guests" from the nearby forests, which are notorious for Maoist activities in Gadchiroli district.