FIR Over Pet Puja: After Divine Darshan, Dog Parents Seek PM Modi’s Intervention

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By: Vineet Upadhyay
Updated: 23 May, 2022 12:11 pm IST


DEHRADUN: Nawab Tyagi has accompanied his ‘parents’, Vikas and Himshi Tyagi to religious places since he was just six months old. There was never a fuss.

But a reel of the four-year-old seeking blessings from Nandi, Lord Shiva’s ride, in front of the revered Kedarnath shrine had drawn ire from a section of the society with Uttarakhand police launching an investigation over the incident.

Surely, the sight of a Siberian Husky, seeking divine blessing by touching the statue of Nandi with his paws has not gone down well with many. It reached a stage that a worried Vikas and Himsi are now seeking intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and made a representation for the same.

Along with PM Modi, representation was also made to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, a copy of which has been accessed by The New Indian, on May 21, 2022.

It states, “As per Hindu religion each and every God is related to some animal. Nandi Ji itself is a sacred and divine bull. Dogs have been referred to as Shvan in many Vedic verses and have a deep meaning in Hindu mythology. Therefore, animals are an integral part of the Hindu religion. The Couple’s dog had touched Nandi Ji’s feet to seek his blessings and there is nothing wrong with it. My client did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments nor intend to hurt any religious beliefs.”

Vikas and Himshi Tyagi with Nawab in Kedarnath

The representation by advocates Neha Rastogi and Animesh Rastogi on the behalf of Tyagi couple also mentions that when the couple started their yatra with their pet dog from Sonprayag, on May 8, 2022, no one from the police or security stopped the couple from taking the dog to the Kedarnath Temple.

“To the surprise of the couple, all the security staff was very helpful, supportive and encouraged the couple and appreciated their efforts of taking their pet dog to the temple. It is pertinent to note that after completing the 16 km trek when the couple reached the gate of the Kedarnath Temple, the pujari of the temple conducted puja with the couple outside the temple in front of Nandi Ji,” states the representation to the PM.

Priest applied ’tilak’ to Nawab

Further clarifying that the dog did not go inside the main temple, the representation says that when the puja of Nandi Ji was conducted by the couple with the dog, the pujari did not say anything regarding the same nor did he object to the dog touching Nandi Ji’s feet to seek blessing.

The couple posted the video of their pet dog doing puja on May 11, 2022, on their social media account after almost four days. Many, who watched the video, supported the couple’s effort of treating their pet dog with such love and care. Though some sections of the audience also disagreed with the couple’s act.

Meanwhile, the president of the Shri Badarinath Kedarnath Temple Committee Ajendra Ajay wrote a letter on May 17, 2022, requesting the Uttarakhand police to take cognizance of the matter and take appropriate legal action against the couple for their act of doing Nandi Ji puja.

Since then, the couple is living under the fear and threat that at the request of the president of the committee the police may register an FIR against them which would be against the law and would also infringe the fundamental rights of the couple, said the representation.

Advocate Neha Rastogi, counsel for the pet parents said, “Kindly note that, if the FIR is registered against the couple who took their dog to Kedarnath temple to seek blessings, it will be a violation of Article 21 and 51A(g) of the Constitution of India. I may also remind you that country will be governed as per the Constitution of India and not on the whims or fancies of any committee.”

“Further, it is pertinent to note that there are no restrictions or guidelines by Shri Badarinath Kedarnath Temple Committee or the Uttarakhand Government regarding the entry of pets at the temple. And if no guidelines are breached, how the Committee had requested the police to register a case against the innocent couple who had taken their dog to seek blessing at Kedarnath temple. The act of the committee is biased and based on assumptions,” the representation added.

“Further requesting the Uttarakhand government and the government of India to enlighten if there are any guidelines regarding the entry of pets at Kedarnath temple or are there any restrictions on the same and if restrictions are there, then why there are no signboards to these effects and why no one including security and pujari stopped the couple from performing puja with his pet dog,” the pet parents asked through the representation.

Requesting the government to frame guidelines in this regard, so that no one can be harassed by authorities on frivolous grounds, the representation says that by constant threats on social media, the liberty of the couple is curtailed.

“We also urge the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand to intervene in the matter urgently so that people visiting Kedarnath to seek the blessing of Lord Shiva are not harassed at the hand of the committee on flimsy ground. We are sure that Uttarakhand Police has some better work to do,” states the representation.

With over 74,000 followers, 7.5 million Google searches, 750 news articles in 35 countries across the globe and India’s first paragliding pet, Nawab is a social media star who lives an extraordinary life complementing his name.

Rohan (33) travelled to Kedarnath with his wife and two other pet dogs, another husky named Coady and a Labrador named Laila.

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