NEW DELHI: Outrage sparked by alleged beating of a police horse by protesting BJP workers, including a party MLA, in Uttarakhand on Monday forced the party’s central leadership to decry the act. On Tuesday, the BJP termed the act unacceptable.
The 13-year-old Shaktiman underwent a surgical procedure on Tuesday to fix one of its hind legs after which authorities said no amputation was required. Shaktiman of the local police unit had suffered multiple fractures when mounted police tried to control protesting BJP workers, led by MLA Ganesh Joshi. Videos suggested it was beaten by the protesters, and in some pictures Joshi is seen menacingly pointing a stick at it.
Joshi denied hitting the horse, claiming one of its hind legs got stuck in a hole dug up to put the barricades. Joshi said he was trying to scare away the animal which had gone berserk, leaving a BJP worker injured. Still, police registered a case against Joshi and his supporters under Cruelty to Animals Act, while animal rights activists have lodged a police complaint against him for his “inhuman” act.
The matter rocked the State Assembly during zero hour, as BJP members said Joshi was innocent. Later state party president Ajay Bhatt regretted injuries to the horse and said BJP would bear the cost of its treatment as the “unfortunate” incident had taken place during a stir organised by the party. Meanwhile, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters in the national capital, “Party is aware of the incident. Party has taken a serious note of the incident. I am sure the party will take a call on this.”