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One of 6 Rescued Camels Dies in Assam Police Station as Flock Awaits Court Order to be Sent Back to Rajasthan

According to police, one of the five camels kept at the Dhula police station died on Tuesday. The sixth camel is being looked after at the Mangaldai police station. The animals were seized from Dhula market on August 10.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:August 28, 2019, 10:01 AM IST
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One of 6 Rescued Camels Dies in Assam Police Station as Flock Awaits Court Order to be Sent Back to Rajasthan
One of the camels rescued by Assam police a day before Eid died at the Dhula police station in Assam’s Darrang district. (Image: News18)
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Guwahati: A camel rescued by the Assam police a day before Eid died at the Dhula police station in Darrang district on Monday night. It was among the six camels smuggled into Assam from Rajasthan to be sacrificed during Eid-al-Adha on August 12. Of them, five had been sheltered at the Dhula police station and the other at the Mangaldoi police station. The animals were seized from Dhula market on August 10.

The camel's death was probably caused due to a number of factors. However, the police said that veterinarians failed to find anything that might have led to its death — a post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday morning. For more than two weeks the camels have been waiting, along with police and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) members, for a court ruling to get them safely back to the desert state.

“It (the camel) died last night. It was on medication. The other five camels are doing fine. We are taking care of them although it is not our responsibility. We are waiting for the court order due on August 30 and once the camels are handed over to the AWBI, they can be repatriated safely to their home state,” said Darrang Superintendent of Police Amrit Bhuyan. The animals have been kept in an open area within the police station and are surviving on 'ber' leaves and hay.

The police said a lower court had earlier ordered the camels to be handed over to the trader who had sought their custody. “We then moved a revision petition before the district and sessions judge requesting that the camels be handed over to the AWBI — it is yet to be approved. The court ruling is scheduled for Friday,” said Bhuyan.

"The local weather is not suited for camels. Despite my repeated requests, the camels are being kept under open sky since August 10. They are all under stress and infected by maggots on their nose, feet and body," said Sujeet Kumar Choudhary, a member of the State Animal Welfare Board of Rajasthan. Choudhary arrived here on August 18 to take them back to Rajasthan.

"I filed a petition on August 19 seeking custody and orders to take them back to Rajasthan. The court passed an order on August 22 giving custody but didn't mention anything about their repatriation. I have filed a fresh petition citing the Supreme Court orders and appealed to the court to allow the return of the camels to Rajasthan," said Choudhary.

"I don't understand why it's taking so much time. The apex court had in its orders stated that the camels couldn't be taken out of Rajasthan. The animal would not have died if I had got the order to take it back," he said, adding that although the police and the veterinarians in Assam had tried, they could not provide proper care as they lacked knowledge about camels.

The six camels were shoved into a truck under inhumane conditions and brought to Assam for slaughter. Police said the smuggling pattern and route from Rajasthan to Assam were being ascertained.

Despite the anti-smuggling Act in place, illegal trade of camel continues unabated in Rajasthan. The camel was declared state animal of Rajasthan on 2014 and the Assembly enacted the Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Bill, 2015, which not only banned slaughter but also illegal transportation of animals to other states.

(With inputs from IANS)

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