The COVID-19-induced lockdown, intricate protocols and copious impediments did not deter the determination of Assam's Kajol and West Bengal's Om Prakash to tie the knot after travelling a lengthy route.
The lockdown and COVID-19 related rules forced the young couple to marry at an open space along the West Bengal-Assam inter-state border. "After overcoming copious hurdles Kajol Sha and Om Prakash Sha tied the knot late on Saturday night at an open ground adjoining a check-gate at Sagolia on the Assam-West Bengal border," Assam Assembly member Ashwini Ray Sarkar told IANS over phone from Dhubri, which shares borders with both West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Sarkar, who took the leading role to solemnise the marriage ceremony, said that the groom travelled 175 km, the bride 55 km along with their minimalist friends and relatives at the entry check-gate and returned after the most austere rituals.
Businessman-turned-politician, Ray Sarkar, who represents ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and elected to the Assam assembly from Golakgang constituency (Dhubri district), said that the district administrations of both Dhubri (western Assam) and Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) along with the local police helped out to hold the wedding ceremony.
Dhubri district officials said that the couple along with their relatives and friends soon after the nuptials was driven to a COVID-19 quarantine centre in Jalpaiguri district where they are expected to spend 14 days before going to the groom's father's home at Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri.
Dhubri district Superintendent of Police Yuvraj Singh told IANS over phone that the marriage ceremony was solemnised following all the covid-19 and lockdown guidelines and with the permission of the Deputy Commissioner. According to a relative of the groom, before the wedding ceremony the parents of the groom and bride had to struggle for hours with the district administrations of both Jalpaiguri and Dhubri.
"When the groom and his very few friends and relatives arrived at Sagolia check gate on the inter-state border, the Dhubri district police did not allow them to travel further in view of COVID-19 pandemic induced guidelines. After huge persuasion with many civil and police officials and with the help of the MLA finally Kajol and Om Prakash could tied the knot leading to the cheers of both the families besides the young couple," a relative of the groom told IANS.
As per the strict protocols of Assam government, every person entering the state from any other state has to undergo a 14-day institutional quarantine.
The Assam government has recently launched "Ruthless Quarantine, With Big Heart" scheme to check the spread of coronavirus, under which suspected patients must remain in quarantine. According to the ministers and officials, the exodus of thousands of people from southern and western regions of India to the northeast region has led to a steep rise in Covid-19 positive cases, especially in Assam, which so far registered 514 cases, including 162 new cases in the past 24 hours.