The death of a dolphin in the Sharda Sahayak canal in Pratapgarh district has turned into a major controversy.
The dolphin that strayed into the canal was reportedly beaten to death by locals who deemed it a ‘deadly fish’.
The incident took place on January 1. The local police and forest officials had reached the spot and had sent the body for post-mortem.
The matter, however, was kept under wraps until the video clip went viral on Friday when someone posted the clip of the dolphin being beaten to death by the locals.
Forest officials evaded comments on the issue and said that it was yet to be verified if it was actually a dolphin. Local police said forest officials would be better placed to respond to the queries.
A local source, meanwhile, said the water gate of the canal had been closed and the water level had receded. “In the morning of the New Year, local people saw the dolphin moving in the water. Some said it was a ‘deadly and poisonous fish’; others said it could kill people who went near it. A huge crowd collected and people decided that it would be dangerous to let it go. The crowds started mercilessly beating it and some even hit with an axe,” the source said.
Circle officer, Jitendra Singh, meanwhile, denied reports that the dolphin was beaten to death by locals.