MP: Shahdol trader demands deer for nephew’s 'Upanayan'

  • Yogendra Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2015 16:58 IST

This is one demand that could probably never be fulfilled. But a businessman based in Shahdol, about 600km east of Bhopal, is insistent that he should be provided with a live deer so that he could use its skin for the ‘upanayan sanskar (sacred thread ceremony)’ of his nephew.

Dileep Singh Chelani, who claims to be a descendant of king Dashrath of the Ramayana, has been corresponding with authorities from district level to the Prime Minister and the President of India, seeking permission from them for the above since last five years.

According to the correspondence, Chelani, a resident of Budhar Town of Shahdol district, said the rituals of his nephew Deepak is not becoming possible just because of unavailability of an ‘unused deer skin’ and fact that he does not want to break the law of land that prevents killing of wild animals.

As per the tradition, the rituals are to be performed when boys are at 12. My nephew is now 16 but we can’t perform the rituals thanks to the government.

“As I don’t want to break the law, I’m seeking permission,” Chelani told HT.

Chelani claims the tradition of his family necessitates use of deer skin on which his nephew has to be seated for the ritual.

He has recently sent correspondence to President’s House and the Prime Minister’s office (PMO), referring to his earlier letters.

The ritual of his nephew was scheduled in the last week of November in 2009. On November 9, 2009, he first approached the then district forest officer of Shahdol district, seeking permission to allow him to have a deer for the purpose. But the district forest officer turned down his demand. Later, Chelani wrote to the chief of Madhya Pradesh and principal chief conservator of forest (Wildlife) with the same demand.

On June 15, 2010, he wrote a letter to then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh.

The PMO had sent a letter to chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh on September 27 in 2010, asking him to look into the matter and take action as appropriate.

“I had approached the MP’s chief secretary office after PMO’s letter but chief secretary office refused to give me any information about the latest development on my plea,” said Chelani.

He lodged a complaint a Public Grievances Portal of the Government of India and CM Help Line but no avail.

When contacted, principal chief conservator of forest (Wildlife) Narendra Kumar said there was no provision in the Wildlife Act to allow anyone to kill a wild animal for whatever purpose.

“We have clearly informed him that there is no such provision, but he is not ready to understand it,” Kumar said.

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