The police in Haryana’s Nuh district have booked eight men for allegedly raping a goat, leading to the animal’s death on Thursday. The seven-year-old goat was pregnant and died a day after being allegedly gangraped in Maroda village.

Aslup Khan, the goat’s owner, said the animal went missing from its shed on Wednesday night, the Hindustan Times reported. On hearing a noise outside, he went out, and saw some men sexually assaulting the animal. A mob beat up the accused, but later released them as they were in an inebriated state, the police said.

The police have registered a case under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal” at Nagina police station in Nuh town.

“Our team is investigating the case and has recorded the statement of the goat’s owner, who allegedly caught the three accused in the act,” Nuh Superintendent of Police Nazneen Bhasin said on Sunday. “We are also in the process of recording the statements of other witnesses and villagers to know the exact sequence of the crime and arrests will be made once we get all the details.”

Five of the eight accused are yet to be identified.

One of the accused returned on Thursday and reportedly mocked Aslup Khan over the condition of the goat. “He came to me on Thursday and threatened to steal the goat,” Khan said. “He laughed and said that he and his friends had a nice time that night, which made me furious. I thrashed him, after which he fled the spot.”

The goat died at 6 pm on Thursday, after which the villagers informed the police. The police called Dr Ramvir Bhardwaj, a veterinary surgeon to conduct the autopsy. “The animal was 50 weeks pregnant,” he said. “During the autospy, it was found that there was blood in her windpipe. Samples of her vaginal swabs were sent to the forensic science laboratory.”