NEW DELHI: Sympathy turned to shock on Wednesday as 14-year-old police horse Shaktiman, which became a household name after its leg was amputated following an injury during a BJP protest in Dehradun, passed away due to infection.
A police officer said the end came around 5.30 pm and the real cause would be known after an autopsy. “Though Shaktiman got the artificial limb, it was not working well and he was putting his entire weight on the other leg. That is why the infection spread. Today also a lot of care was taken and eight doctors attended to the horse. It is sad that we could not save him,” said R S Meena, IG, law and order, Uttarakhand.
The horse was slowly learning to stand after getting a prosthetic limb implant by US experts.
Predictably, politicians, especially in Uttarakhand where the incident took place followed by even more bizarre political drama, were quick to express their sympathy. Ousted CM Harish Rawat expressed his condolence saying a brave soldier has died performing his duty.
Even BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi, accused of hitting the horse in the leg during the protest and later arrested for it, paid tributes. Out on bail, Joshi, while denying that he hit the horse, said he will offer his leg if he was found guilty. Union minister Maneka Gandhi demanded that those responsible for the “murder” be punished. “Shaktiman was a police officer on duty and the person who put him through so much pain and finally killed him should be arrested for killing a police officer,” she said.