Gupta wedding causes a stir as Indian government accused of 'bending rules' for the family

This file photo courtesy of the Gupta family shows Vela Gupta and her husband Indian-born Aaskash Jahajgarhia posing with relatives and guests during ceremonies for their wedding in Sun City, on May 1, 2013.
This file photo courtesy of the Gupta family shows Vela Gupta and her husband Indian-born Aaskash Jahajgarhia posing with relatives and guests during ceremonies for their wedding in Sun City, on May 1, 2013.
Image: AFP / COURTESY OF THE GUPTA FAMILY / Handout

Political parties and activists have criticised the Indian government for permitting a wedding extravaganza for the sons of Ajay and Atul Gupta at a ski resort, citing environmental concerns around scores of guests being flown in by helicopter.

The Times of India reported on Thursday that social-activism groups and political parties in India had blasted the country's government for “bending the rules” to accommodate the extravagant affair, which will take place over four days next week. Guests will be ferried to the luxury Auli ski resort in Uttarakhand from Delhi and Mumbai via a chartered fleet of helicopters.

Activists say a high court order is being ignored.

“High court order is being kept at bay to please [the] Gupta brothers and all rules are being bypassed to facilitate the ... wedding,” said Ravinder Jugran, a social activist.

“Auli is a skiing destination and making it a wedding destination will affect the ecological sensitivity of the Himalayan region,” he said. Permission had reportedly been given for the family to use a helipad and erect tents at the resort.

Jugran has written to the Indian government to demand reasons for allowing the wedding to go ahead, questioning whether any thought was given to the impact such an affair would have on the region.

“Has any assessment been made of the environmental harm that will be caused due to a big-splash wedding?” asked Jugran.

Hotels and resorts in the region have been booked out for the wedding that will host some of India’s leading political figures, business leaders and Bollywood celebrities.

Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta.
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta.
Image: MARTIN RHODES

The wedding plans are being met with the same scorn the family received for the extravagant nuptials of their niece, Vega Gupta, at Sun City in 2013. Then, Waterkloof Airforce Base was used as an entry point for guests flying in.


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