Horse beaten by Indian politician on road to recovery

An Indian politician accused of assaulting a police horse during a protest march was arrested and charged in connection with the alleged attack on the horse which was so severe that one of the horse’s hind legs almost had to be amputated.

Fortunately, the horse, ‘Shaktiman’ is on the road to recovery after a five hour surgery saved her leg.

Police arrested BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi outside a hotel in Patel Nagar area a few days after the alleged assault on the police horse on March 14.

Police say  Joshi was responsible for precipitating the fall of the horse during the protest March on March 14 which caused grievous injuries to one of its hind legs.

Horse minder stayed by mare’s side

Constable Ravinder Singh stayed by Shaktiman, a 14-year-old Kathiawari mare, side after the horse became a victim of the protesters’ wrath last Monday.

The horse was hit with wooden sticks, allegedly by BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi and his associates.

Under attack, Shaktiman kept stepping back from the group of protesters, till one of her legs buckled and got stuck in a railing. But the attack did not stop. Unable to move away from the mob, her left hind leg started bleeding profusely and she collapsed.horse1

She suffered multiple fractures on her left hind leg bone. Local veterinary doctors, on Monday, feared that the damaged leg may have to be amputated. But on Tuesday, a team of veterinary doctors performed a five-hour-long operation on Shaktiman, after which they announced that she should be back on her feet in six weeks.

However, doctors attending on Shaktiman said it will have to be seen whether the prop is strong enough to support the horse which weighs four quintals.

Surgeons saved horse’s leg

Surgeon from Mumbai Feroze Khambatta, who led a team of doctors that operated on the horse, said he had performed eight similar operations in Nepal and Bhutan but on horses which weighed only two quintals.

As Shaktiman weighs four quintals it is not clear for how long he can stand and move with an artificial leg.
He is constantly under the watch of doctors and over two dozen police personnel at the police lines.

Shaktiman is a well trained horse and part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years. Chief Minister Harish Rawat also expressed concern over the horse’s condition.

“An external skeletal fixator has been put on her left hind leg… The entire operation was conducted under general anaesthesia. Our fear is that the horse may have contracted some infection in the last few hours. She will be under observation for a few weeks. We are hoping that in the next few weeks, she will not only be able to walk but also run,” said Dr A K Das, from the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar.

Ravinder Singh, who has been in-charge of Shaktiman for the last five years, said she is “a fighter.”

She is one of the most intelligent and disciplined horses that we have at present. Even on Monday, when she could have retaliated and attacked the protesters, Shaktiman showed exemplary discipline,” he said.

Inside a makeshift tent at Police Lines, Shaktiman had a steel rod fastened to her left hind leg while red bandages were tied on the other legs. “We are making another tent for her where she can recuperate. It will be ready by tonight,” said Singh.

“After the brutality that she has undergone, this is the least that we can do for her. She has been a source of pride, not just at Republic Day and Independence Day functions, but even when she was part of the Kedarnath Yatra programme. I spend 18 hours daily with her. How can I not be here when she needs me?” said Singh.

Brought from Delhi in 2006 when she was four years old, Shaktiman is a snowy-white, 5 feet 8 inches tall, Kathiawari mare.

She received training at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Phillaur, in Punjab. Considered one of the oldest horse breeds in the country, Kathiawari horses have great stamina and endurance.

h/t: Indian Express

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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