Six suspects remanded in police custody for allegedly mutilating camel in Sanghar

The camel mutilated in an attack in Sanghar earlier this week undergoes treatment at an animal shelter in Karachi. — CDRS Benji Project
The camel mutilated in an attack in Sanghar earlier this week undergoes treatment at an animal shelter in Karachi. — CDRS Benji Project

A magistrate in Shahdadpur on Sunday remanded six suspects into police custody in connection with the mutilation of a camel that saw the animal’s right leg chopped off in Mund Jamrao village in Sanghar district days ago.

The incident took place on Friday when a landlord allegedly chopped off the camel’s leg as punishment for foraging into his field for fodder.

Sanghar police took notice of the incident, news of which was widely circulated on social media, and contacted the owner of the brutalised camel, Soomar Behan, who was a poor peasant.

Police officials said the peasant had refused to identify the culprit and press charges against him, hence police lodged an FIR on behalf of the state against six unknown persons under sections 429 (Mischief by killing or maiming cattle) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

When police tried to arrest the six suspects on Saturday, they allegedly resisted and attacked them, according to another FIR filed by police.

The six suspects were identified as Rustam Shar, Abid Shar, Jaffar Jatt, Abdul Shakoor Shar, Gul Baig Lashari and Darya Khan Shar, and were arrested from Rantoo Bridge near Sanghar.

The second FIR was filed under sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the PPC.

According to Sub-Inspector Atta Hussain Jutt, the suspects were presented before duty magistrate Asif Sial on Sunday, where police requested the suspects be remanded for 14 days for further investigation, positing that they needed to find the weapon used in the incident.

The magistrate, however, remanded the suspects to police custody for only four days.

Treatment and rehabilitation

PPP minister Shazia Marri and former PPP senator Quratulain Marri took stern notice of the incident, with Shazia taking to X to announce that suspects had been arrested and the injured camel had been transported to the Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS) animal shelter in Karachi.

In a separate statement, Shazia and Quratulain Marri said that veterinary doctors referred them to CDRS, adding that rescuing the camel was a “joint effort”.

“I was extremely saddened to hear the news of this tragic incident [and I] took immediate steps, Shazia said. “This kind of barbaric treatment against a speechless being is reprehensible,” she added, stating that those responsible would be punished severely.

We called a team of doctors and [were] immediately referred to CDRS, who took the camel to safety and started care,“ said Quratulain. “If they had not taken care of it, the camel might not be with us.”

“From carrying her through the fields to treating her wound under a flashlight, everyone who helped the camel is a hero,” she added.

CDRS Benji Director Sarah Jahangir told Dawn.com that the camel — affectionately named Cammie by shelter staff — is stable but infection is an ever present threat.

“She’s stable but her leg is infected,” she said. “Treatment involves applying fresh dressings, antibiotics and IV fluids […] we’re trying to keep infection at bay”.

She added that the team’s focus is on pain management, preventing further infection and making sure the animal stands up and moves around.

“The camel is 8 months old, and one of our concerns is that we need to make sure she stands up and moves around otherwise she will develop bloat in her stomach.”

Sarah confirmed that the PPP senior members arranged the wounded animal’s transport to the shelter. “Shazia and Anny (Quratulain) Marri had the camel loaded into a truck and brought to Karachi with a police protocol,” she said, adding that the animal arrived at 2am in excruciating agony.

She added that CDRS has been exploring options for prosthetic legs for the camel and is due to meet experts from both Karachi and Dubai.

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