The wedding invitation cards of Devkaran Dehari lie undistributed at his home in Chhattisgarh, his family and friends in numbing grief that the popular youth would never come back home.
Dehari, or Karan as he was fondly known, was among the five District Reserve Guard jawans who died in a Maoist blast in Maroda on Barsoor-Palli road in Narayanpur, some 222 kilometres from here, on Tuesday.
Dehari, who was driving the bus that got blown up, was supposed to get married on April 21.
“He had collected the cards from a printing shop in Narayanpur on March 21, and had come to my home for dinner. He had told me he would start distributing the wedding invites after returning from the operation,” said Dehari’s close friend and Narayanpur District Ayurved Officer Dr Satyendra Nag.
“He did not return, only his body came back wrapped in Tricolour. We are all shattered,” he added.
Dehari’s native Podgaon village in neighbouring Kanker district is in grief.
“Dehari and the woman he was to get married to, a native of Dhanora in Kondagaon district, knew each for eight to nine years. She had recently got a government job on contract basis and the entire family and people around were happy for the couple who seemed like a perfect match. Fate willed otherwise,” he said.
Hemant Panigrahi, a former journalist with a television channel, said Dehari was a dear friend with whom he had several wonderful conversations on phone, even though chances to meet dimmed after he joined police and his work got hectic in restive regions of the state.
Panigrahi made the trip to Dehari’s village from Raipur on Wednesday.
“Bastar will never forget his supreme sacrifice,” he said of his departed friend.