BJP legislator arrested for maiming horse

Dehradun: Uttarakhand BJP legislator Ganesh Joshi, accused of hitting and severely injuring a police horse which necessitated the amputation of one of its legs, was arrested on Friday, police said.

The horse Shaktimaan is alive but his injured hind leg has been amputated, police added.

Joshi, who represents Mussoorie, was arrested outside a Patel Nagar hotel following an FIR against him. Senior police officials told IANS that the legislator, who has professed innocence, was being questioned in the case.

Dehradun district police chief Sadanand Date said Joshi was responsible for the injury to the hind legs of the horse belonging to the mounted police.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the principal opposition in the state, has hit back by describing the police action as “illegal”.

Joshi allegedly attacked Shaktimaan during a protest against the Harish Rawat government in Dehradun on Monday.

Meanwhile, BJP workers are staging protests in different parts of the state against the arrest of Joshi.

Opposition leader Ajay Bhatt called on Governor K.K.Paul and Director General of Police B.S. Siddhu to describe the action of arresting a legislator like that as wrong.

Joshi was arrested in the morning from a hotel and a police team took him to Sahaspur. After his medical examination, he was presented in a court and later sent to 14-day judicial custody.

Bhatt told reporters that if they didn’t get justice from the Governor, the party would approach the court.

He also asked the state assembly’s speaker to call Joshi to the legislative assembly. After the assembly’s procedure, police can arrest Joshi. He said the Congress government in the state is acting in a dictatorial manner and the legislator was picked up by police as if he was some terrorist.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat told reporters that his government is not linked to the arrest of Joshi. The law is taking its own course. The government will not intervene in the matter.

Joshi’s daughter Neha Joshi on Friday accused media channels of “sensationalising” the alleged attack, saying her father is not the culprit.

Stating that “it’s a witchhunt led by some sections of the media and the Congress” she said, the family is “confident that the truth will prevail”.

Stating that the media chose to ignore the apologies of her father, on the behalf of the party, for the attack on the horse, she said his innocence has been proven with multiple videos circulating and showing that her father was only trying to scare the horse by hitting the ground with a stick.

The decision to amputate Shaktimaan’s leg was taken by a team of visiting doctors from the US and Mumbai on Thursday evening. After a 39-minute operation, about one feet of Shaktiman’s leg was removed to save his life.

Special Superintendent of Police Sadanand said that Shaktimaan kept on falling while getting up on Wednesday. It ruined the operation performed on him earlier. The visiting doctors felt there was little chance of his leg getting readjusted, leading to the decision to amputate it.