LUCKNOW: Three persons were arrested for beating a Gangetic dolphin to death in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
The arrests of the three persons, who indulged in beating the animal with rods and axe, came after the video of their act went viral on social media. The incident was reported at Kotharia village under Nawabganj police station of Pratapgarh district.
The dolphin had strayed into a stream of Sharda canal. As per the sources, the incident had taken place on December 24, 2020, and the video went viral on Wednesday, January 6.
The police swung into action after the video clip went viral and registered a case under section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act against unidentified persons on the complaint of the officials of the forest department.
In an unfortunate incidents a Gangetic Dolphin got killed by locals in Pratapgarh district of UP. Locals thought the species a ‘Fish’ which may be dangerous for their lives. Wildlife awareness is much needed for conservation. https://t.co/ggM0DAEf51 pic.twitter.com/TcxCdKwDW1— Ramesh Pandey (@rameshpandeyifs) January 2, 2021
Gangetic dolphin was declared the national aquatic animal of India in 2009. Killing the aquatic animal is a punishable offence under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the FIR said.
According to Nawabganj Station House Officer AP Singh, three persons -- one Rahul of Azad Nagar, another person with the same name from Hariharpur, and one Anuj -- were arrested and sent to judicial custody. The police have managed to ascertain their identities after scanning the video footage.
Police sources said that the accused expressed their ignorance about the criminality involved in the act. They said that they did not even have any idea about the creature as they had seen such a "mammoth fish" swimming in the canal for the first time. The accused allegedly claimed that they killed the animal as they thought they would throw a party for the villagers.
On January 2, IFS officer Ramesh Pandey shared a link and photo of the incident and tweeted: “In an unfortunate incident a Gangetic Dolphin got killed by locals in Pratapgarh district of UP. Locals thought the species a ‘Fish’ which may be dangerous for their lives. Wildlife awareness is much needed for