BJP worker arrested in Shaktiman attack, horse to be amputated

Dehradun: A BJP worker was arrested on Thursday in connection with the attack on police horse Shaktiman during a protest by the party here even as army doctors decided to amputate the hind leg of the equine, which was still in pain and cannot stand, to save its life.

Three days after the attack that sparked outrage, the worker identified as Pramod Bora was arrested from Haldwani in Nainital district for forcefully pulling the bridle of the horse and causing its fall at the protest venue on March 14
and leaving it injured, Dehradun SSP Sadanand Daate told PTI.

army doctors decided to amputate the hind leg of ShaktimanA police man feeds Shaktiman who was injured during a BJP protest in Dehradun on Tuesday. Pic/PTI

Bora was arrested from Mukhani area of Haldwani on a requisition by Dehradun police, Nainital SSP Sweety Agarwal said, adding he has been handed over to a police team from Dehradun and is being taken to the state capital.

On reports that summons were issued to BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi by him in connection with the attack, Uttarakhand DGP B S Sidhu said only the Investigating Officer is competent to issue summons. When queried, Investigating Officer Arun Pandey neither denied nor confirmed issuing summons to the legislator, saying investigations are still on.

The horse in fact fell with its entire weight on its hind quarters under the combined impact of Joshi's frontal attack with a lathi and Bora pulling up its reins from one side, Daate said.

'Shaktiman', a well trained horse which was part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years, was allegedly attacked by Joshi, an MLA from Mussoorie, during the march. The animal suffered fractures in one of his hind legs during the protest.

An FIR had been lodged at Nehru Colony police station against Joshi and his associates.

Giving an update on the medical condition of the horse which was operated upon by a team of vets a day after the attack, the DGP said a team of doctors from Pune which examined Shaktiman today are of the opinion that its fractured hind leg will have to be amputated to save its life. 

However, it has not yet been decided when the amputation will take place, he said.

Daate said the horse is still in pain and cannot stand. "Army doctors are attending on the horse. We are doing everything we can to help it recover fully from the injuries," he added.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat also expressed concern over the horse's condition.

"We are worried about the horse as it is still in pain and cannot stand on its feet. However, it is being looked after properly. Let people decide who is wrong," he said. 

The BJP has been demanding withdrawal of the cases lodged against its workers including Joshi with the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt asserting that they were being framed at the behest of the state government to cow down the opposition.

However, the Chief Minister has refused to withdraw the cases, saying he does not believe in interfering in police investigations which should be carried out independently.

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