Facts of the Case
Shaktiman is a well-trained horse who has been serving in the Uttarakhand police force for about seven years. The horse was not known to anybody in India until it was allegedly assaulted and attacked with sticks by Uttarakhand BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi and his associates during a protest march in Dehradun which lead to a national outrage and resentment. This is Shaktiman horse assault case.
Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, if any person beats, kicks, over-rides, overloads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes, or being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated shall be punishable with a fine which shall not be less than but which may extend to fifty rupees.
However, in the case of assault on Shaktiman, BJP MLA Joshi has been charged under Section 429 of IPC which states that any who commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless animal of value including horse shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
The horse was mercilessly and brutally beaten up with sticks during a protest against Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat for misuse of funds which has caused grave injuries and multiple fractures in that horse’s left hind leg. Shaktiman’s injured leg had to be amputated in order to save him from infection. The horse can now stand with the help of a prosthetic or an artificial leg.
Horses are one of the most faithful amongst all the animals and are being used in mounted units not to harm an individual but they are efficiently trained in order to block a person from moving ahead. It is a grave matter of concern that an animal who can’t speak has been made a target which has exhibited the frustration of the people. People must learn the value of restraint and forbearance. This issue of assault on Shaktiman horse created a nationwide furor and outcry by the animal lovers around the country. The artificial limb which was put on Shaktiman was not working well and thus the infection spread which has resulted in its death.
Shaktiman was a brave horse and died while rendering his duty. Shaktiman’s broken leg and its death have nothing to do with politics but it is a matter of animal abuse which is an inhuman act. It is an unsympathetic act done against humanity and an illegal act under the law. The need of the hour is strongest and swiftest action under the law must be taken against the person showing cruelty to the hapless animals and he/she should be severely punished and fined for such type of heinous act.