In a shocking incident, a 13-year-old horse by the name of Shaktimaan, deployed as part of mounted police was severely injured during a protest march by BJP to the state assembly in Dehradun on Monday by BJP's Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi.
The incident happened during BJP's march against "corruption and poor law and order" to the state assembly which was stopped at barricades put up by Uttarakhand police near Ripsana bridge, a few metres from the state assembly premises.
Hours after the incident, two videos, one of them purportedly showing the horse's broken hind leg and the other showing the BJP legislator from Mussoorie attacking the horse with a lathi from the front, went viral.
These two videos sparked an allegation by Chief Minister Harish Rawat's media in-charge Surendra Kumar that the animal had "fallen a victim to Joshi's cruelty".
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sadanand Date told Times Of India that Shaktiman, the horse has suffered multiple fractures on its left hind leg and unfortunately, it has to be amputated.
"Shaktimaan has suffered multiple fractures, including a compound fracture, and was been taken to a veterinary hospital. There is virtually no hope for him to do police work in future. Now, our aim is to ensure a painless life for him. The leg will have to be amputated and we are just hoping that he recovers," SSP Sadanand Date told TOI.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat visited the horse and inquired about his condition on Monday evening.
Dehradun: Chief Minister Harish Rawat inquires about health of the horse who was hit by BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi. pic.twitter.com/AmCQHrKU6e— ANI (@ANI_news) March 14, 2016
Under fire for his display of animal cruelty, BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi initially had the audacity to make this bizarre statement.
The horse wasn't given any water throughout the day: BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi on injuring the horse during BJP protest pic.twitter.com/TXzhYu9ueN— ANI (@ANI_news) March 14, 2016
As soon as some water was given to the horse he was fine, he was just thirsty. I am not at fault at all: BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi— ANI (@ANI_news) March 14, 2016
He later took to Facebook to clarify his stand and give an alternative view to the story.
But one fails to comprehend a basic question - Why go after the horse? What did it to you or your men? Was it corrupt or was it anti-national?
Shaktimaan, the horse was part of mounted police deployed to control the protest march called by the opposition party to protest against the state government's alleged failure on all fronts including law and order and corruption.
Here's how Twitter reacted to the news:
There were those who strongly criticized the BJP MLA.
Horse beaten, leg broken by BJP Ukhand MLA during protest in Dehra Dun! Guess the horse wasn't 'patriotic' enough! https://t.co/0CqDwcLDTs— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) March 15, 2016
Shocking footage @IndiaToday BJP mob beating police horse to pulp in D-Dun. You deify stray cows but thrash a horse with 15th Cent. cruelty— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) March 14, 2016
BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi lathi charged a horse?How can someone behave so badly !This man should be immediately arrested.— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) March 14, 2016
Where is Maneka Gandhi? Why is she quiet after the poor horse was beaten to pulp? Is it cos her activism is selective?— Nick Ts (@mhanthung) March 14, 2016
BJP MLA #GaneshJoshi who hit a horse with a stick and grievously injured it, says he loves animals. The poor animals better believe him!— Maha Siddiqui (@SiddiquiMaha) March 14, 2016
There were also those, who stood by the BJP MLA.
Watched @IndiaToday video which broke the story. Even there I don't see the BJP MLA hitting the horse. They just assert he hit the horse.— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) March 14, 2016
Another hit job on BJP MLA. Horse trips, breaks leg. With these "news breaks", look media gift horse in the mouth. https://t.co/CnowilskWN— Sankrant Sanu सानु (@sankrant) March 14, 2016
BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi may remain defiant, denying that he was directly responsible for breaking the horse's leg, but he cannot deny that it was because of his violent, unruly and cruel behaviour that Shaktimaan will have his leg amputated.
(With Inputs From PTI)