Dehradun: Police horse Shaktiman, who was subjected to a brutal attack during a BJP protest here on Monday, had his injured hind leg amputated in an emergency life-saving surgery on Thuesday even as a party worker was arrested. The surgery was conducted at a veterinary hospital here by a team of doctors led by surgeon Feroze Khambatta, hours after Army doctors from Pune opined that one of the hind legs of the horse that was fractured will have to be amputated as the animal might lose its life by tomorrow due to spread of gangrene from the wound.
"The surgery has gone as planned," Uttarakhand DGP BS Sidhu said tonight after a limb of the horse, which was still in pain and could not stand on its feet, was removed, three days after the attack that sparked an outrage and led to an FIR being filed against BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi. "The surgery was basically necessitated by the fact that the blood supply has ceased to the portion of multiple fractures and it was essential for saving the life of the animal. We got the best possible surgeon in the country to perform the surgery and we hope he will be able to survive," Sidhu said.
Stating that Shaktiman will take a month to recover from the surgery, Sidhu said that in the meantime he will be given temporary prosthetic aid in the form of artificial legs which will be tailor made to his specifications. "Army doctors are attending on the horse. We are doing everything we can to help it recover fully from the injuries," Dehradun SSP Sadanand Daate had said earlier in the day.
The BJP 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 14 March and leaving it injured, Daate told 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 BS 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.
Chief Minister Harish Rawat also expressed concern over the horse's condition.
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.