Injured Shaktiman, the police horse, was quarantined by Dehradun Police on Tuesday, after political leaders turned up in large numbers for photo-ops with the animal.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sadanand Date said they were not encouraging visitors since the horse is in severe pain.
“Political leaders are visiting the stable and disturbing the horse. It is in pain and veterinarians are injecting medicines to give him relief. In a bid to give Shaktiman rest, we are not permitting anyone to visit the horse,” SSP Date told HT on Tuesday. Vets identified multiple fractures in the hind left leg of the white horse.
Shaktiman was injured on Monday when Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Ganesh Joshi allegedly attacked it with a lathi, leaving it with a broken leg. Date told HT soon afterwards that Shaktiman was in bad shape. “It seems the horse will no longer stand on its feet. We will register a case against those identified in video footage.”
The SSP also said if the condition worsened, the horse’s leg would have to have to be amputated. “In that case, however, it will be impossible for Shaktiman to survive”.
Hours after Shaktiman was injured, chief minister Harish Rawat visited the animal at its stable. Later MLA Joshi and some other leaders also paid a visit. By that time horse was unable to stand.
Sources said a team of veterinarians from Pantnagar University have arrived to inspect the horse.
“We are taking no chance and doing whatever possible. Doctors will take x-ray to know whether there is any hope left” a police official said.
Shaktiman is the only white horse serving police since last seven years. He has always been part of the police parade during important occasions. The last time Shaktiman participated in the parade was on Nov 9, 2015, on the occasion of the state’s 15th foundation day.
Three separate cases have been filed against the MLA in the Nehru Colony police station. Animal rights activist Pooja Bahukhandi filed a case under various sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. A second case was filed by Vinod Kumar, a government driver and the third by Ravinder Singh, a police constable.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal rights organisation has demanded that MLA should be expelled. PETA CEO Poorva Joshipura, in a letter to Vidhan Sabha speaker Govind Kunjwal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, wrote: “Animals claim no political sides. For them there are no voting rights, just our mercy”.
Meanwhile, the BJP has said it stands by Joshi’s side in this case. Party president Ajay Bhatt said the horse charged into the party workers and injured a worker, Jitender Singh.