The Kachchh caravan stumbles on

Kammabhai’s hopeful tone is understandable given the extraordinary events of January 2022 when 58 camels were detained by the local police in Amravati, Maharashtra. Although released a month later in February, all the camels showed signs of poor health.

Their herders say that during their detention, the animals did not get to eat their regular diet. The gaurakshan kendra where they were held, is a cattle shelter equipped with feed for cows.

In a cruel twist, the hapless herders even had to pay – Rs. 350 for each camel’s daily feed – for the unsuitable food determined by the kendra . The bill came to Rs. 4 lakh, as calculated by the Gaurakshan Sanstha . The cattle-shelter calls itself a voluntary organisation but it levied a fee on the Rabaris towards the care and upkeep of camels.

A year ago, a self-styled animal rights activist from Hyderabad had lodged a complaint in Talegaon Dashasar police station against the five herders. They were accused of transporting camels to slaughterhouses in Hyderabad. The Rabaris were camping in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region. Police arrested the five herders at a village called Nimgavhan, which comes under the Amravati district police’s jurisdiction. The owners were charged under section 11 (1)(d) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 , and the camels were sent to a gaurakshan kendra in Amravati in detention.

Although the local court immediately granted the owners bail, the battle for their animals dragged on and went up to the district court. On January 25, 2022, a magistrate in Amravati summarily rejected the applications of three animal rights organisations, including the Gaurakshan Sanstha , for custodial rights of the camels. It allowed the application of the five Rabari herders upon their fulfilment of a few conditions.

— source | Jaideep Hardikar, Priti David, Rajeeve Chelanat | Jan. 27, 2023

Nullius in verba


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