Raipur: Heartbreaking scenes were witnessed at Kasoli village in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Friday where a large number of tribals, including women and children, had gathered to bid adieu to their local hero, Lakhmu Markam, one of the 10 District Reserve Guard (DRG) jawans killed in a Maoist attack in the district on Wednesday.
While the family members and villagers were busy performing tribal rituals to pay last respect to the martyr amid “Saheed Jawan Amar Rahe” slogans, Markam’s grieving wife lay down on her husband’s funeral pyre.
While the aggrieved family members surrounded Markam’s body kept just a few metres from the pyre, his inconsolable wife continued to lie on it. When the woman was asked to come down, she said she cannot see her husband’s body going up in flames.
Despite her resistance, the villagers somehow managed to convince her to come down from the pyre after which Markam’s last rites were performed.
A local journalist reporting from the ground clicked pictures of the heartbreaking scenes and shared them on social media.
As per official information, Markam was a trained cop who was earlier associated with ‘Salwa Judum’, a militia group of local tribals formed to counter Maoist activities, which was dissolved following a Supreme Court order in 2011.
Later, he was inducted into the DRG which was formed by the Chhattisgarh government in Dantewada district in 2015. DRG is a special force of the Chhattisgarh police, which mostly involves local tribals and surrendered Maoists, for carrying out anti-Maoist operations.
As per official information, five out of the 10 DRG personnel killed in the Dantewada ambush were surrendered Maoists who had joined the force after laying down their arms.
“Local tribals are recruited in DRG because they are more familiar with the surroundings, and have better knowledge about Maoist activities in their areas. DRG teams have carried out several successful anti-Maoist operations from time to time, which is why they have become targets of the Maoists,” said a Raipur-based journalist.