A video emerged on social media where a group of men can be seen beating a Gangetic dolphin to death in Uttar Pradesh, NDTV reported on Friday. The Gangetic River Dolphin is a protected species and also the National Aquatic Animal.

The police in Pratapgarh said that three men have been arrested in connection with the incident that took place on December 31.

In the video, a group of men of men can be seen beating the dolphin with sticks as one of them holds the dolphin down by plunging an axe into the aquatic mammal. The dolphin can be seen bleeding profusely. One man can be heard telling the assailants that they are beating the dolphin for no reason, but the group continues raining the mammal with blows.

An official of the forest department reportedly found the dolphin lying lifeless by the side of a canal. He said in a first information report that a crowd had gathered around the mammal but no one said how the animal died. The FIR said that a closer inspection of the body revealed multiple injuries, including axe wounds.

The FIR added that the killing of a Gangetic River Dolphin is a punishable offence under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, according to The Hindu. The motive behind the crime is still not known.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in August announced Project Dolphin aimed at the conservation of the aquatic mammals.