Mule forced to inhale 'weed'-stuffed cigarette smoke on Kedarnath trek, man arrested

04:51 PM Jun 25, 2023 | PTI |

A video showing two youths forcing a mule to inhale smoke from a cigarette — allegedly stuffed with weed — en route to Kedarnath has become widely circulated, leading to the arrest of a mule owner and outcry among social media users.


The video purports to show one man holding the animal’s mouth and a nostril while the second one is forcing it to inhale the smoke through the other nostril. Social media users have demanded strict action against the mule/horse operators for subjecting an animal they use for their livelihood to such ”inhuman treatment”. They conjectured that it was being done to numb the animal’s senses to force it to work harder.

Horses and mules are used to ferry pilgrims and their baggage on the trek route to the Himalayan temple. The police in Rudraprayag examined the video and found that the incident occurred recently at the Tharu Camp near Choti Lincholi along the 16-kilometre trek route to Kedarnath, said Suresh Chandra Baluni, an inspector at Sonprayag police station. Rakesh Singh Rawat, a mule owner, has been arrested in this connection, he said.

A case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act has been registered against him, the officer said. Baluni said it is being investigated if the cigarette was stuffed with weed. The yatra to Kedarnath began on April 25 and the police have registered 14 cases of cruelty to equines in two months.


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