Quietly, two former Naxals reclaim their right to become fathers

FP

Two former top Maoists who had undergone vasectomy as young men while with the rebels, quietly underwent a reverse operation at a private hospital in Raipur this month.

Maoist commanders frequently force sterilisation on cadres before they wed. But this is possibly the first case in the country of ex-Maoists opting for vasectomy reversal surgery.

The younger of the two men, 22-year-old Shriram, surrendered before police in August. He had been forced to undergo vasectomy at the hands of a quack just before his wedding in 2008, when he was only 18.

Dharam Singh Tulwai (28) surrendered in September 2010. He had had sterilisation surgery six years ago, at the age of 20, soon after his wedding. A prominent doctor and social activist did the operation, Tulwai said.

Shriram was a platoon commander; Tulwai an area commander at the time of surrendering. Their wives, Maoists themselves, had surrendered earlier.

The two Gond tribal couples, who now hope to welcome children into their lives, spoke to The Indian Express at an undisclosed location. "I feel so excited now. My wife always taunted me, 'tum kisi kaam ke nahi rah gaye ho'. I now look forward to becoming a father soon," Tulwai said as his wife Aishwarya stood smiling shyly.

Shriram and Sunita both belong to Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district. They fell in love while with the Maoists. Freed from the many restrictions they faced, the couple now aim to reclaim their lost family life as soon as possible.

"Whenever I visited my village, even when I was with the Naxals, villagers and relatives asked about nasbandi. I can now tell them that I will be a father soon," Shriram said.

The Chhattisgarh Police hit upon the idea of surgery while talking to the surrendered Maoists. "I could sense their resentment, that even after coming back, they can't have children. I asked them if they wanted vasectomy reversal surgery and they agreed immediately. This is the first case in Chhattisgarh, probably the first in India," Durg IG R K Vij said.

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