Police horse 'Shaktiman' dies

After undergoing surgeries for over a month, Shaktiman, a police horse whose hind-limb was injured during a Bharatiya Janata Part protest rally last month, died on Wednesday.

On March 14, during a protest march of the BJP in Dehradun, BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi had allegedly attacked Shaktiman, who was deployed with the mounted police in Dehradun. As Shaktiman moved backwards to protect itself from the blows, one of its hind limbs got caught in a railing and was injured. Later, the hind limb had to be amputated and it had to undergo a double surgery. MLA Joshi was arrested on March 18 for allegedly attacking the horse, however, currently he is on bail.

On Wednesday, MLA Joshi told The Hindu that he was under “shock” after hearing the news of Shaktiman’s demise. “I am under shock. We [BJP leaders] will seek details into the cause of the death. Now, we must make sure that such incidents don’t happen again,” he said.

Teams of doctors, caretakers and police personnel used to take shifts while catering to the 14-year-old horse and it had started showing signs of recovery. A prosthetic hind-limb for it, which was brought from America, had also been fitted on it this month.

However, on Wednesday, Shaktiman succumbed to a “shock” during preliminary anaesthesia.

Senior Superintendent of Police Sadanand Date said to The Hindu, “Shaktiman died after it underwent a shock during preliminary anaesthesia [on Wednesday]. It was to undergo a bone reconstruction surgery today [on Wednesday].”

Soon after Shaktiman’s death, a blame game erupted between the Congress and the BJP in Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand Bharatiya Janata Party President Ajay Bhatt said, “We are saddened by Shaktiman’s death and former Uttarakhand government [Congress] is to be blamed for its death. They [the Congress] used Shaktiman as tool against the BJP and played politics on the condition of the horse. Had it been provided rest and proper treatment it would have survived.”

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister, who refrained from blaming anyone for the horse’s death, said, “I shall not blame anyone for Shaktiman’s death, but the BJP has been assaulting, not only the horse, but the State for the past month and the entire country is a witness to it. It is the Uttarakhand BJP which is answerable for the incident and not the Congress.”

Mr Rawat also said that he was “sad” that the horse couldn’t be saved.

Reacting to Shaktiman’s death, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said to the media that the horse was a police officer on duty and that the person responsible for its death must be arrested.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 3:38:50 PM |

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