Sunday, July 14, 2024

No ‘happily ever after’ for Raju-Chinki, the monkeys


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Jaipur: The wedding of Raju and Chinki could put Bollywood to shame. The two monkeys were married off in a hush hush ceremony by villagers in Rajasthan before the forest department could stop the “wildlife crime”! The newly weds have now landed in a zoo.

The caretaker families of the two monkeys had planned an elaborate north Indian wedding for the two. Three-year-old groom, Raju, was to ride a horse from Banetha town in Tonk district, some 100 km from Jaipur, to bride Chinki’s house in Talwas village in neighbouring Bundi district.

But the state’s forest department clamped a ban on it, prohibiting the nuptial plans for the simians on the ground that it was a wildlife crime.

The dream of villagers were shattered — almost.

Some over enthusiastic villagers took the monkeys into a nearby jungle and got them married secretly at 5 am on Wednesday. Before foresters could reach the venue, the deed was done.

“I attended the marriage. Almost all rituals were followed, including the seven rounds of the fire and the marriage vows,” a village said.

Forest officials are not happy over the development.

“It is a kind of atrocity on the monkeys who were not even aware of what was happening to them. We had issued notices to the two families warning them against it,” a senior forest department officer said.

A team of police and administration officials reached Talwas village, but by then Raju and Chinki were already a couple — in the nearby Antari Ka Jungle.

“The villagers took them to a nearby forest area and got them married,” said the officer.

Now the two monkeys have been “rescued” and sent to a zoo in neighbouring Kota district.

And that has saddened Raju’s caretaker Ramesh who says he brought up the monkey like a son.

“We had made all the preparations. Marriage invitations had been sent to at least 200 people,” Ramesh said. He said he was surprised over forest department’s ‘diktat’.

“When I met Niranjan Pancholi, Chinki’s caretaker, a few months back, I made the marriage proposal for them, which he happily accepted. We were planning to bring Chinki to our house in Banetha after the wedding,” said Ramesh.

But the zoo is where the Raju and Chinki landed. (IANS)


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