Police horse Shaktiman, injured in alleged attack by BJP MLA, dies

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2016 21:22 IST
Police horse Shaktiman was injured during a BJP rally in Dehradun in March. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

Uttarakhand Police horse Shaktiman died on Wednesday, a month after losing its left hind leg in a thrashing allegedly by a BJP legislator, sparking a political blame game in the state.

The 14-year-old horse was injured at a rally in Dehradun on March 14, where BJP workers clashed with police and party MLA Ganesh Joshi beat up Shaktiman, triggering widespread condemnation.

The animal’s leg was amputated three days later but doctors said it couldn’t adapt to the prosthetic leg attached to the limb.

Senior Superintendent of Police Sadanand Date told HT the horse was given anesthesia but didn’t wake up after the shot was administered on Wednesday.

Read: Dehradun: BJP MLA attacks police horse with lathi, breaks its leg

“Shaktiman was a police officer on duty; person who ultimately killed him should be arrested for killing a police officer…Horses should no longer be part of our police systems; they serve no purpose #RIPShaktiman,” Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress attempted to blame the BJP for the death of the horse, pointing out that police had registered a case against Joshi for hitting Shaktiman.

“I am shocked, can’t explain my feeling in words,’ former chief minister Harish Rawat said, noting that Shaktiman died during President’s Rule in the state.

State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said the horse died because of mistakes made by the previous Harish Rawat government and lack of proper treatment. Joshi said he was saddened by Shaktiman’s death but was not guilty. “If found guilty then cut my leg,” he told news agency ANI.

Read: Injured police horse in isolation as netas rush for photo ops

Shaktiman grabbed national headlines in March when a video surfaced that purportedly showed Joshi attacking a policeman and beating up the white horse.

The alleged attack occurred during a BJP rally as party workers tried to jump over barricades prompting security personnel, including the mounted police, to swing into action.

The horse had to undergo surgery on March 15 and then experts decided to amputate his leg on March 17.

Officials said the horse took its feed in the afternoon and died around 4.30pm. Police staff and veterinarians were clueless about its condition for few minutes and concluded its death.

A permanent prosthetic leg from the United States was fitted on Shaktiman’s amputated leg last week. But the horse didn’t adapt well to it and was made to rest for hours. Laminitis-an inflammable tissue disease -- started to develop in its left hind leg because of excess pressure on that limb.

During the course of the month-long treatment, the horse received sympathy on social networking websites where wildlife lovers from across the world posted tweets and comments.

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