In an interesting incident ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections, a man faced a piquant situation when he used an animal for purposes of transport as well as highlight his allegiance and support of a particular community to which he belongs to in an attempt to curry favour with voters. While the jury is still out on whether the electorate was swayed by this spectacle or not, what it has done is, much to the surprise of the man himself, is make the police scramble to book him.
The crime allegedly committed by a candidate in the polls, 35-year-old Devram Prajapati of Rauza Jalalpur village in Dadri constituency, was to ride a donkey! Yes, the four-legged animal that everyone likes to make fun of or label someone who is really annoying. Well, it seems as far as our sensitive upholders of law are concerned, acts by politicians that may adversely affect the welfare of any animal will be taken seriously just so to keep on the right side of rules – even if their act can be termed as bizarre.
Prajapati fell foul of the law for riding on a white donkey’s back, which was covered with flowers, from his village in Dadri all the way to the nomination centre on Monday to register himself for the polls as an independent candidate.
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The Uttar Pradesh police went the whole hog on Tuesday and registered an FIR against Prajapati under the ‘relevant’ sections of the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act. The Indian Express quoted Anuj Kumar, SHO, Surajpur police station as saying, “A FIR has been registered under Sections of the Animal Cruelty Act”.
Clearly caught by surprise at the reaction of the authorities, Prajapati, who belongs to the Kumhar (potter) community, said, “Our ancestors have looked after donkeys as pets and they have been a crucial part of the community. Donkeys carry mud, utensils and clothes for us. We have never ill-treated them”.
So, donkeys are out of poll equations. What will authorities target next, elephants and horses?