A lungi-clad man sauntering in the corridors of the Madurai district court carrying a goat caused a mild flutter on Monday, prompting some lawyers to question him. It was only then that they realised the difficulties animal owners and the police faced in dealing with legal procedures when cattle are lost and found.
Sivakumar (30) told the advocates how he struggled to gather grass and leaves on the court premises to feed his goat as he waited from 11 am to 3 pm to produce the goat before the judicial magistrate court IV.
But, it is the policemen’s tale that was more poignant as they narrated how they had to feed the goat overnight.
After thieves Vadivelu, Appu Murugan and Periyakaruppan were arrested and the Jamnapari breed goat (with drooping long ears) was recovered on Sunday, the police sought permission to produce the animal at the judge’s residence, which was turned down.
Since legal procedures demand that stolen property be produced before the court before it is handed over to the owner, the Jaihindpuram police had to feed the animal till Monday. Then, inspector V Nethaji urged the owner to accompany them to the court to help the police with handling the animal.
However, police officers said feeding Sivakumar’s goat was nothing compared to the jumbo task they had faced earlier.
A few years ago the personnel of a police station in Madurai city had to feed elephants that were captured and detained in the station. The elephants were used for begging by some persons, recalled a police officer.
In another incident in Theni district in 2010, a senior police officer recalled that three police personnel sustained injuries while capturing 50 emu birds in Uthamapalayam.
“Though we explained the difficulties in transporting the birds to the court and requested the judge to visit the spot for verification, our plea was turned down,” said the police officer.
Cases involving thefts of cattle are quite common in rural areas of Madurai. In 2012, 30 cattle and in February this year 14 cattle were stolen and policemen who handled the cases suffered, an officer said.