After receiving a complaint from PETA India, Gorai police registered a First Information Report (FIR) and arrested participants in a cruel and illegal horse-cart race which took place on 14 February at Gorai Beach during the early hours of the morning. PETA India learned about the incident after a video went viral on social media, which showed a group of men mercilessly whipping and beating horses, forcing them to run continuously amidst the chaos of noisy motorcycles and shouting riders.
After submitting a formal complaint to the Mumbai commissioner of police, PETA India worked closely with Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone XI Mumbai Vishal Thakur. The FIR includes the provisions of Section 11(1) of which makes whipping and beating an animal and causing the animal unnecessary pain and suffering punishable offences. As per the latest report, four accused suspects were arrested and produced before a magistrate court, where they were released on bail.
We pointed out in our letter to the commissioner of police that the High Court of Bombay ruled in a 2015 judgment that none of the stables for horses used for joy rides and other purposes in Mumbai possesses a licence under Section 394 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. We also referred to a 2016 Rajasthan High Court order that banned tonga races in the state of Rajasthan following a report submitted by the Animal Welfare Board of India, which pointed out that cruelty to horses is inevitable when they are forced to run amidst the chaos of vehicles and while spectators shout – which the animals find frightening and distressing – as was the case during the illegal race at Gorai Beach.