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B-town Celebs, Copters, State Dignitaries: Gupta Brothers' Big Fat Auli Wedding Has it All, Including High Court's Vigilant Eye

Another marriage will take place on Friday when Sashank, son of younger brother Atul, marries daughter of a Dubai-based businessman. The family plans to make the event a 'memorable one'.

Anupam Trivedi | News18

Updated:June 21, 2019, 5:53 PM IST
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B-town Celebs, Copters, State Dignitaries: Gupta Brothers' Big Fat Auli Wedding Has it All, Including High Court's Vigilant Eye
File photo of Ajay Gupta and Atul Gupta. (Getty Images)

Dehradun: Despite rains and cold, a large number of residents are queuing up at Auli — a small ski resort in Uttarakhand. They are thronging to witness a marriage function of controversial Gupta family, a South African business tycoon who hails from Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh.

The Gupta brothers, Ajay and Atul, are regulars to Uttarakhand. They have a property in Dehradun and some high profile friends as well.

On Thursday Ajay, the eldest brother, married his son Suryakant to Delhi-based diamond merchant's daughter.

The marriage was one of the ‘grandest’ the hill state has ever seen. The function was graced by Uttarakhand former chief minister Harish Rawat, yoga guru Ramdev’s close aid Balkrishna among others. Besides, more than half a dozen Bollywood artists, including Katrina Kaif and rap singer Badshah entertained audience.

Another marriage will take place on Saturday when Sashank, son of younger brother Atul, marries daughter of a Dubai-based businessman. The family plans to make the event a "memorable one". Among guest list of 135 people, Ramdev is likely to attend the marriage function that began on June 18 amid controversy.

An elated Angoori Devi, mother of Guptas, says she is lucky to witness the marriage of her grandchildren in the lap of revered Hindu shrine – Badrinath — which is hardly 100 km from Auli.

A number of helicopters have been deployed to ferry guests from Dehradun till Joshimath, and cable car is being used to reach Auli.

This comes after Uttarakhand High Court earlier this week banned use of temporary helipads in ecologically fragile Auli to ferry guests. The court, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), asked Chamoli district administration to ensure that nothing goes against norms at Auli.

The Guptas, who shot to fame for having “controversial relations” with the ousted Jacob Juma government in South Africa, were instructed by the High Court to submit Rs 3 crores as “security” which would freeze if found guilty for violating environment protocols.

Acting of the court orders, a 10-member team of officials from tourism, pollution control board, forest department and local administration are keeping an eye round the clock around the marriage venue. A drone is recording every detail. The district administration is preparing a report that will be submitted in the court before July 8, said officials.

While hearing PIL, Chief Justice Ramesh Rangnathan had also grilled government for permitting a marriage function in the fragile area. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, however, believes the controversy over marriage is unnecessary.

“We intend to make Uttarakhand a niche marriage destination. The place where event is taking place is not an alpine meadow area, therefore, the controversy is unnecessary,” the chief minister told News18. Former CM Harish Rawat, who graced the marriage function, believes the idea to promote state as "marriage destination" is "fine" but the choice of the place is "wrong".

Even as the debate continues, the stake holders argue how would the government stop marriages taking place in the central Himalayas – a fear that court also expressed.

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