Days after a Gangetic dolphin was beaten to death by a group of men in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh district, three people were arrested after the video went viral on social media.
The incident took place on December 31 after the Gangetic river dolphin, which is an endangered species, was seen in Sharda Canal, a tributary of Pratapgarh, and was hunted by a group of men from Kothariya village under the Nawabganj police station, according to News18 reports.
In the video, a group of villagers can be seen mauling the 5-feet-long dolphin with axes and sticks. The dolphin was first trapped with a net and was attacked with axes and sticks after it was held down by its fin. The group then punctured the dolphin with sharp objects and blood was seen gushing from its body. The attack continued as the dolphin is seen almost lifeless by the end of the video. In the video, a man is heard saying, "Faltu me maar dio yaar" (You killed it for no reason).
A top police officer and the team of Forest Department reached the spot after the matter was reported. The forest department team conducted a post-mortem. However, no immediate arrests were made as villagers did not reveal how it died.
After the video surfaced online, the men were identified from a nearby village and sent to jail, according to Forest Department official, Inspector Bhaiya Ram Pandey.
Gangetic river dolphin was declared the national aquatic animal of India on 5 October 2009. Killing the Gangetic Dolphin is a punishable offence under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.