The Himachal Pradesh Police on Saturday arrested a person for allegedly feeding a pregnant cow wheat flour laced with explosive substances near a farmland in Bilaspur district last month, The Indian Express reported. The incident drew outrage on social media after the owner of the cow posted a video showing the injured animal.
This came days after the death of pregnant elephant in Kerala’s Palakkad city from eating a pineapple stuffed with fireworks prompted a criminal investigation into cruelty towards animals.
The incident occurred in Dahad village of Jhandutta tehsil on the night of May 25, when Gurdial Singh, the owner of the cow, left her untied for grazing in the fields. The cow had wandered out towards a neighbouring scrubland covered with small bushes and shrubs, where someone had placed some wheat flour mixed with explosive substances. It was here that she ate the flour that exploded in her mouth, causing severe injuries to her jaw and tongue.
In a video uploaded by Singh and widely circulated on social media, the cow’s severed mouth can be seen with blood dripping from deep gashes of wounds. The owner alleged that his neighbour had deliberately fed the cow a ball of explosive material meant for killing wild animals and demanded he be punished.
A case was registered and the police said they have collected samples from the spot, while the explosive substance was sent for forensic examination. “Judging by her injuries, we believe that the explosion occurred outside her mouth, but investigation into the incident is on,” an unidentified official told the newspaper. A first information report was registered under sections – 286, 429 – of the Indian Penal Code, pertaining to mischief by maiming cattle and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The cow is reportedly in a stable condition and had delivered a healthy calf a few days ago. Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanjay Sharma, who inspected the spot of the crime, said the police are investigating the incident on a priority basis, and strict legal action will be taken in case of foul play.