Ex-militant's marriage, 800 volunteers and 50000 guests

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Kokrajhar (Assam), Feb 22 (UNI) Former militant and now Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Hagrama Mohillary is getting married today in what could arguably be the grandest marriage reception in the region's history.

With three different stages for cultural programmes, 800 volunteers, 50000 invitees, dozens of welcome arcades and three district administrations using all resources, this is certainly the biggest and costliest marriage for the whole of North East.

The groom is Hagrama Mohillary, once the chief of the Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) who tormented the region for more than 15 years with killings, bombings and kidnappings in lower Assam.

After the signing of the Bodo Accord, he became the Chief of the BTC and his party BPPF played a crucial role in last assembly election, helping the Congress form a stable coalition government.

To express his gratitude, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi along with state Health minister Himanta Biswa Sharma will fly in for the reception tomorrow.

''He is the most important man of our government and hence I shall personally go to bless both the bride and groom'' said Mr Gogoi. But he is both amused and bewildered with massive arrangement.

The actual rituals of the marriage of Mohillary took place today in the traditional Bodo way where no invitees were present. It was completely a close knit affair of relatives. The bride Seuli Brahma was taken to Hagrama Mohillary's house this morning in a cavalcade of 65 vehicles.

''It is big because Bodo people wanted it'' said groom Hagrama Mohillary yesterday while ensuring the last minute arrangements.

His deputy in the BLT and now state minister Chandan Brahma is the main man behind the show. '' This must be the grandest marriage for the Bodo people and whole of the North east should look up to it,'' said Mr Barhma making it clear that size and scale of the marriage was linked to the Bodo people's sentiment and growing assertiveness in the state's politics.

Entire Kokrajhar district ceased to function since yesterday as almost every government official was directly or indirectly involved in the marriage. Almost all the departments are directly involved for the arrangements. Even the markets are also deserted with everyone attending the three day long function.

''Cultural programme started last night itself and tomorrow as at the main function Johnny Lever and Zubeen Garg will lead a galaxy of artists from Mumbai and Assam.

There are three different dining halls. Each can accommodate around 6000 people at a time. Billed as the costliest marriage of the region, thousands are likley to go to the actual marriage reception tomorrow only for novelty.

UNI XC-MT BA LS AS1433

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