The 13-year-old police horse, who had been in service for a long time, breathed his last on April 20. The stallion was brutally assaulted on March 14, when BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi and fellow protesters delivered violent blows on his left hind leg. The attackers, armed with lathis were protesting “corruption” against the Congress government in the state, and thought of it as appropriate and humane to beat up an animal.
The animal fought hard till the very end. After the barbaric act that shocked the animal-loving nation (that lynches and hangs people for consuming beef), the horse was operated upon by a team of veterinary surgeons, after multiple fractures were detected in his leg. But a festered wound made the animal lose its leg, and a prosthetic one from USA was arranged. The animal that could not be of police service anymore, was getting used to his new leg, when his life was cut short.
The exact cause of death has not been ascertained yet and post mortem reports are awaited. But the nation has been in mourning ever since the brave-heart bid adieu. The horse was otherwise healthy. He had been going about his day when he was attacked for no reason. The macabre incident was caught on cameras as well.
According to news reports, the horse had lost around 25kgs in the last one month. But his doctors said it was necessary since the prosthetic leg had to bear the weight of the 400kg horse.
Joshi – who has been in custody ever since – offered his leg, pleading innocence. “Very sad. I already said that I am not at fault, if found guilty then cut my leg,” Joshi said to ANI.
A series of verbal accusations highlighting political power play, apathy and blame-game has ensued. While the Harish Rawat government has been showering accusations on MLA Joshi, the latter has gone on record to say that the horse died because it was not taken care of.
The beastly incident says something tremendously disquieting about India. That as a country, we share a streak of apathy. The fact that the animal died is shocking and unfortunate enough, but to accuse one another and a hit a political low is shameful.
The gangrene did not kill Shaktiman. The idea that those who rule the roost can do unquestionably anything and get away with it, did. We do not have absolute laws against animal assaulters in our country. Joshi is still hanging on to his post of an MLA and justice for Shaktiman is not coming through.
We pray for justice and hope the horse that had seen better days, is relieved of all the pain and suffering. In our country, self-proclaimed righteous groups are ready to kill in the name of religion. But the washed-out truth is, we are all beasts and nobody respects life.