A Maoist love story, starring a village teacher
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A month before Valentine's Day this year, a senior Maoist decided to drop his AK-47 and "settle down" with a "madam" he loved — a government teacher in an interior village of Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. She was hesitant, he convinced her.
He collected Rs 10 lakh as "levy" from a private contractor and they eloped to Karnataka. "We thought the money was enough for us to begin a new life, find some work and buy a home. We were fools," Korsa Joga said, and then laughed as he narrated his escape to The Indian Express.
They spent a fortnight changing buses, hotels and cities, Bangalore and Mysore, places they had only heard of, where police and his former comrades could not have spotted him. "We knew no one would identify me in these cities, but life outside was expensive and difficult," he said.
He had rarely stepped outside Chhattisgarh except during travels with comrades to the neighbouring Maoist areas in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. He was not equipped for life in a big city. She knew more about the outside world but money was getting spent fast and soon they realized they had few options.
"We wanted to settle down somewhere in the south, but learnt it was not possible.we did not know the language, city," he said.
Joga and Varlaxmi were tribals, both 28 years old and Bijapur residents. He was a Gond, she a Halbi. Their unusual love story began early in 2012, when Joga stopped at Penkram village during a routine trip through the forests with his comrades. She taught at a local school. "Maine usey dekha, aur laga haan...(I saw her and it struck me, yes...)," he recalls.
Maoists do not normally stay at one place for long but Joga got his men to overstay and then made more trips under the excuse of touring the area. But this could not be sustained for long. So, as a member of the Dakshin Bastar Division Committee, one of the five DCs under Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist), he used the Maoist practice of calling teachers, health workers, sarpanches and contractors for meetings in the forests to get to meet her.
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