Forcible smoking of horse, highlight cruelty against animals in a mad race to earn during ‘Char Dham Yatra’ season

Listen to this article

Forcible smoking of horse, highlight cruelty against animals in a mad race to earn during ‘Char Dham Yatra’ season

Dehradun, June 26

After public outcry following a viral video where owners were seen forcing their horse to smoke weed on the Kedarnath trek route, Rudraprayag district police has registered a case against its’ owner Rakesh Singh and his another accomplice under the Animal Cruelty Act, 1960. Suresh Chander Baluni, Incharge police post Sonprayag said that on the written complaint of sector magistrate, a case has been registered.

But the act has brought to the fore the cruelty meted out to horses and mules used for transportation of pilgrims to the famous Hindu shrines of ‘Char Dham’ namely Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamountri and Gangotri in Garhwal Himalayas and Sikh Pilgrimage site of Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib.

It was found that on June 21 while returning from Kedarnath, Rakesh Singh  forced his horse to smoke with the help of another accomplice. Someone shot the video of their act in which both are holding the mouth of horse and forcing the animal to inhale a lighted cigarette through one its’ nostrils. The video went viral eliciting public outcry about cruelty to animals. Actress Ravena Tandon had expressed her outrage at the viral video.

It was believed that horse owners in a mad race to earn money during the ‘Char Dham yatra’ season force the animals to smoke weed and intoxicate them to work extra. Already 115 horses and mules have died during ‘Char Dham Yatra’ which started on April 22, 2023 and Hemkund Sahib yatra which started in mid-May. Most of the animal deaths are reported on the Gaurikund-Kedarnath 90 kms trek route. A total of 90 animals died on this route while 17 died on Yamunotri-Gangtri route and eight on the Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib treks during the ongoing yatra season. Around 300 animals had died during the yatra in 2022.

The animal rights activist charge that more than 25,000 horses and mules are deployed, tortured and over worked to earn by the owners without caring for the well being of the animals. Saurab Bahuguna, Uttarakhand Animal Husbandry Minister who himself went on the route last fortnight claimed that efforts are being made to keep a check on animal health and more than 26,500 animals underwent health check- ups this year.

A total of 212 horse and mule owners were challaned and cases of Animal Cruelty registered against fifteen of them. It was also alleged that dead animals are not scientifically buried but owners dispose of the dead animals in the rivers and gorges making it a health and environmental concern.

As per Rudraprayag district data, a total of 6933 horses and mules were registered for this year’s yatra while one thousand animal were registered to be used for carrying supplies to Kedarnath. As per official records, a total of 1,83,964 pilgrims used horses and mules to reach Kedarnath till June 22, 2023 paying a staggering amount of Rs.54,88,58,800 while 134,410 pilgrims returned from Kedarnath on horse- back paying a sum of Rs.27,55,40,500  during the period. Besides the horse and mules owners, seven helicopter companies engaged in ferrying pilgrims to and fro from Kedarnath shrine have earned Rs.56 crore from April 25 till June 22, 20223.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
error: Content is protected !!