Local train hits 5 buffaloes, railways look the other way

Two adult buffaloes and a calf were killed and two more severely injured after a local train mowed them down at Ambernath railway station on Sunday evening.

The animals were walking on the tracks between the platforms at 6.30 pm when a passing local hit them. The impact launched the animals into the air and the train went on to hit them again and drag them for around 100 feet. While one animal’s neck was severed, two others died from the severity of their injuries moments later. Bystanders watched in horror as the surviving buffaloes writhed in agony for almost two hours between the platforms, and no railways official came forward to help.

In a bad shape: The two severely injured buffaloes that were hit by a local train at Ambernath railway station on Sunday, being treated at BSPCA hospital in Parel yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The injured animals received medical attention only after they were taken to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) hospital in Parel at 5.30 am yesterday.

Two hours after the incident, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker Satyajeet Burman reached the spot with 12 supporters. He informed the railway helpline, but claims his call was met with a rude response from the other end. Burman said the railway officials insisted that it was not their job and suggested he contact officials of the municipality. “When I contacted the railway control room, a man picked up and when I explained what had happened, he said it was not the job of the railways. He kept saying ‘hello… hello’ and then disconnected the call. Railway officials suggested that I inform the municipality,” Burman said.

AAP volunteers managed to get hold of a veterinarian and an ambulance and the doctor administered first aid and put the two severely injured buffaloes on saline. The animals were then taken to BPCA hospital in Parel.

“At around 5.30 am we admitted two buffaloes brought from Ambernath. The animals are in critical condition and we are trying our best to treat them,” said Dr JC Khanna, officer in-charge BSPCA. However, according to sources in the hospital, the animals have suffered extensive injuries and their chances are bleak.

The AAP volunteers have called a meeting today and plan to file a complaint against the concerned railway officials.

When an attempt was made to contact Joy Abraham, manager Ambernath railway station, he said, “Not now, not now,” and disconnected.

Ambika Hiranandani, a well-known animal activist, said, “The activists who rescued the buffaloes should file a complaint against the railway officials under Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code.”  


The law says
According to Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, it is illegal to maim or cause injury to any animal with a monetary value greater than Rs 10. The code also states that it is illegal for cars to purposefully injure or kill dogs, cats and cows on the street. Offenders can be reported to the local animal protection group and police station, and a case can be filed under the above-referenced sections. Punishment attracts a fine of Rs 2,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years. 

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