A cop in Andhra Pradesh has come under fire for painting a police horse to spread awareness about coronavirus.
In the past week, police forces across India have been taking proactive, even controversial measures to ensure citizens follow the 21-day lockdown implemented by the government on Tuesday midnight to fight the pandemic. However, with cases of coronavirus on the rise in the country, some cops seem to have started showing signs of stress.
In Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district, for instance, a sub-inspector by the name of Maruti Sankar was seen riding a white police horse that had been painted with coronavirus graffiti using pink paint, ANI reported.
Andhra Pradesh: Sub Inspector Maruti Sankar, Peapally Mandal, Kurnool district rides a horse painted with images of #COVID19 virus, to create awareness among the public about the pandemic pic.twitter.com/xIFsktWahG— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2020
Speaking to news agency IANS, Sankar said he had been inspired by PM Modi to paint the horse. He said that using the horse was a symbolic move, adding, "The villagers would understand if I say that if they are not careful, coronavirus will spread faster than a horse can gallop. The red spots on the white horse depict the coronavirus".
Sankar is not the first cop to have tried out creative and unusual ways to spread awareness about coronavirus and drive people indoors. This week, a cop in Chennai was seen wearing a corona-helmet while interacting with alleged lockdown violators. Cops in Bengaluru were also seen wearing similar helmets and play-acting a skit on the road where two helmet5-clad cops played the part of the virus.
AP Police's move to paint the horse, however, seemed to miss its mark as instead of lauding the cop's efforts, many on social media slammed him for ill-treating an animal. While visually striking, animal lovers on Twitter pointed out that the paint was probably not good for the horse's health. Some even suggested that the cop should have painted himself instead of the animal. One user went as far as to say that cop should be suspended for cruelty against animals.
Poor Horse, leave the poor animal alone....— Sunil Shenoy (@sunil_shenoy) March 31, 2020
It's pathetic.— Tarun gautam (@TARUNspeakss) March 31, 2020
He should have rather painted abt Covid-19 on his forehead!!— Vivek singh (@Viveksi09729737) March 31, 2020
He should be suspended from the duty immediately without any further notice for violence against animals! Any kind of violence against animals is a punishable offense! @TelanganaDGP @KTRTRS @trspartyonline @TelanganaCMO— Kushal Roy (@itskushalroy) March 31, 2020
Why to harm horse to make people stay inside?— Jiya 🕉️ (@OhMyJiya) March 31, 2020
Meanwhile, India witnessed a steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases with the experts agreeing the country had now reached the local transmission stage of the disease. At the time of writing, there were 1251 active cases in India with 32 deaths due to the virus.