‘Shaktiman’ died during a BJP protest in Dehradun triggering widespread outrage after battling infection and other complications for over a month.
"The horse passed away at 5.30 pm. He was suffering from medical-related complications. The exact cause will be known only after post-mortem." said by Sanjay Gunjyal .
Shaktiman's story stirred many across the country after it was seen in television visuals taking multiple blows and dragging its broken, mangled limb in excruciating pain during the protest on 14 March.
The Doctors also said that the 13-year-old didn't respond well to a prosthetic leg brought from the US. It was a well-trained horse which spent the past few weeks at the police lines in Dehradun and a part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years and also participated in several parades.
"Shaktiman was injured on 14 March after which we had to operate him. He was later fitted with an artificial leg. But he was unable to fully recover from an infection”, informed by SSP Dehradun Sadanand Date.
BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi, accused of instigating brutal attack on the horse, said, "I am very sad. I was not at fault, not even 0.1 per cent. If I am found guilty, then cut my leg."
The lawmaker was arrested and later released on bail last month.
Adding to this, Union minister Maneka Gandhi said, "Shaktiman was a police officer on duty and the person who put him through so much pain and ultimately killed him should be arrested for killing a police officer."
"Horses should no longer be part of our police system," she also added. Further she said,"They serve no purpose and in every crowd engagement they are at the mercy of any vicious person who is too cowardly to do anything but injure the defenseless animal".
Over the demise of the horse, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said,"It was a brave soldier of Uttarakhand and died while performing its duty."
The horse had lost its leg after it was brutally beaten during clashes between BJP protesters and the police on 14 March.
"Though the artificial limb was put on Shaktiman, it was not working well and he was putting his entire weight on the other leg. That is why the infection spread. Today also a lot of care was taken and about eight doctors attended to the horse. It is sad that we could not save him," R S Meena, IG Law and Order, Uttarakhand, said.
People have stood by Shaktiman across the country and have demanded that action must be taken against the BJP MLA.
It was believed by Rawat that at one stage in recent weeks it appeared that the horse was getting well and tried to stand then was dragged into a raging political row in the weeks before Uttarakhand was placed under President's rule
Targeting each other, The BJP then attacked the Congress of accusing it of using the horse to target its lawmaker and to try to keep him away from assembly proceedings and possible voting.
The state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt accused the Congress of politicising the issue to target the BJP and defame its MLA.
Animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi said, "Shaktiman died the same day when it was attacked and its leg broken. Horses with such weight have very little chance to live on three legs. We were mentally prepared for this but political parties are playing blame games."
PETA India claimed that Shaktiman was essentially killed the day his leg was broken and quoted "Our equine veterinarian always warned his quality of life would be forever damaged and he may not live.We urge the government to act fast to ensure other animals are spared from cruelty and horrific deaths by strengthening the current weak penalties for cruelty to animals."