The BJP government in Uttarakhand on Wednesday withdrew case registered against its MLA from Mussoorie, Ganesh Joshi, for allegedly showing cruelty to police horse Shaktiman.
The death of Shaktiman had gained national media spotlight while causing huge outrage last year during the Congress government in the state. The BJP won the assembly elections in February this year and there was a change of government in the state.
Terming the case lodged against Joshi as an act of “political vendetta” by the previous government, state urban development minister and spokesman of the state government Madan Kaushik said all “politically motivated” cases slapped against party workers by the previous regime are being withdrawn.
“We withdrew the case against Ganesh Joshi in the Shaktiman episode as it fell into that (politically motivated) category. All such cases where our party workers were wrongfully framed for voicing their social concerns are being withdrawn,” Kaushik told PTI.
Joshi and his supporters had been booked under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and various sections of the IPC in the case. The horse was injured during the BJP protests in early march last year and had its leg amputated as the blood supply to broken legs had stopped.
Among those who had expressed outrage were the Indian cricket captain, Virat Kohli, who had written, “Shocked & disgusted at the unprovoked attack on a beautiful, harmless animal. Nothing more cowardly!!! Hope strongest and swiftest action is taken soon! Let’s all pray for Shaktiman.”
Video of the BJP MLA from Mussoorie Ganesh Joshi mercilessly thrashing the horse had gone viral.
Joshi was booked and sent to jail following the incident but eventually got bail.
The withdrawal of the case has left the opposition Congress livid with state party president Pritam Singh accusing the BJP of “misusing power to protect its leaders.