Horse Shaktiman killing: U’khand govt for withdrawal of case against BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi
The BJP government in Uttarakhand has recommended the withdrawal of a court case against party legislator Ganesh Joshi, who was booked last year for rioting, hurting and killing Shaktiman, a police horse, during a party rally.
In a letter marked to district magistrate, Ajay Rautela, the additional secretary (home), has instructed to do the needful and inform the government.
“Government has decided to withdraw the case in the public interest against Ganesh Joshi booked under various sections,” the letter by Rautela read, a copy of which is with the HT.
Joshi, a three-time MLA from Mussoorie, was arrested on March 18 last year after he was booked for allegedly hurting a police horse Shaktiman during a party rally held in capital on March 14.
In a video that went viral, Joshi was purportedly seen charging towards the white horse.
The horse’s hind leg was amputated and a prosthetic leg was fitted, but it couldn’t survive and died on April 20. The incident snowballed into a major controversy.
Joshi was not available for comment. One of his spokespersons admitted that they have been pursuing the case (for withdrawal) for long and are yet to receive an official communication.
Former chief minister Harish Rawat reacted sharply to the withdrawal of the case.
“It is absolutely unfair to the poor animal which lost its life... I think Maneka Gandhiji should take cognisance of this step of the BJP government,” Rawat said, referring to how the Union minister and animal rights activist had called for the arrest of the person responsible for Shakitman’s death for “killing a police officer on duty”.
State BJP president Ajay Bhatt, however, said Joshi “was made a political scapegoat”. “He didn’t hurt the horse. I think the government has rightly taken the decision.”
Animal rights activist Pooja Bahukhandi also criticised the government’s decision. “It appears government has no sensitivity (towards animals)”.
As a mark of respect, police have named a petrol pump in Shaktiman’s name besides erecting a statue at Police Lines.