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Indian Politician Complains That a Goat Was Arrested but Rapists Walk Free

A goat was arrested in India this week. At least one lawmaker is calling it a waste of time when there are rapists walking free.

A picture taken on April 20, 2011 shows Cashmere goats raised for their wool at a farm in Ordos in Inner Mongolia, northwest China. The finest cashmere in the world is said to come from goats from the region of Ordos, also prized for their meat and skin. Derived from an archaic spelling of Kashmir, Cashmere is a fine wool which grows beneath the outer coarse hair of the Cashmere goat, which roam across the plateaus of northwest Asia, across China from Mongolia to Tibet, and onto India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Cashmere is considered one of the world's finest and most expensive natural fibers, and for centuries has been spun to make garments from socks to sweaters. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on April 20, 2011 shows Cashmere goats raised for their wool at a farm in Ordos in Inner Mongolia, northwest China. The finest cashmere in the world is said to come from goats from the region of Ordos, also prized for their meat and skin. Derived from an archaic spelling of Kashmir, Cashmere is a fine wool which grows beneath the outer coarse hair of the Cashmere goat, which roam across the plateaus of northwest Asia, across China from Mongolia to Tibet, and onto India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Cashmere is considered one of the world's finest and most expensive natural fibers, and for centuries has been spun to make garments from socks to sweaters. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian animals have a long history of getting themselves in trouble with law enforcement. Last year, a pigeon with a note in Urdu taped to its foot was detained by police who x-rayed it amid suspicions it was a Pakistani spy. In August, police took a parrot into custody after it used crude language to repeatedly insult its owner’s stepmother.

And this week, a goat joined the birds’ ranks after he crossed into a senior bureaucrat’s garden one too many times. According to police in central India’s town of Janakpur, it wasn’t just a one-time incident: They classified the goat, whose name is unknown, as a “repeat offender.”

If leaving his own garden was the goat’s first mistake, choosing Judicial Magistrate Hemant Ratre’s property to explore was his second. Ratre claims he repeatedly asked the goat’s owner, Abdul Hasan, to stop the animal from leaving his property.

Indian animals have a long history of getting themselves in trouble with law enforcement. Last year, a pigeon with a note in Urdu taped to its foot was detained by police who x-rayed it amid suspicions it was a Pakistani spy. In August, police took a parrot into custody after it used crude language to repeatedly insult its owner’s stepmother.

And this week, a goat joined the birds’ ranks after he crossed into a senior bureaucrat’s garden one too many times. According to police in central India’s town of Janakpur, it wasn’t just a one-time incident: They classified the goat, whose name is unknown, as a “repeat offender.”

If leaving his own garden was the goat’s first mistake, choosing Judicial Magistrate Hemant Ratre’s property to explore was his second. Ratre claims he repeatedly asked the goat’s owner, Abdul Hasan, to stop the animal from leaving his property.

After he found the goat there again on Monday, he called local police to have it removed. The goat had to wait for Hasan at the local police station where the owner was charged with his goat’s crimes: trespassing and destruction of property.

“The peon who maintains the garden had warned the owner of the goat many times,” said R.P. Srivastava, an Indian police inspector. “So today he filed a complaint and we arrested the goat and its owner.”

Members of the opposition Congress Party n Chhattisgarh state weren’t amused by the arrest, and blasted the police for spending so much time on a grazing goat when real crimes are allegedly being ignored.   

“The ‘arrest’ of a goat is ridiculous,” opposition lawmaker Shailesh Nitin Trivedi told reporters in Chhattisgarh Tuesday. “[The] police has made fun of themselves by doing so…Those accused in rape cases are moving freely.”

Trivedi has a good point. Statistics released in 2014 found that a rape was carried out every 30 minutes in India. India’s impunity toward rapists garnered international attention when a group of men gang raped a 23-year-old woman on a bus in Dec. 2012. She died two weeks later. In India, the rape dominated news coverage for nearly a year, and sparked conversation about women’s safety in public spaces across the country.

But far from New Delhi, where that rape took place, there is less attention on victims of sexual violence. In Chhattisgarh, where the goat was arrested this week, police have come under fire for failing to make arrests in a series of gang rapes that were allegedly carried out by security forces more than three years ago.

Last month, a 21-year-old gang rape victim from the region committed suicide after claiming she was harassed by a judge and her own lawyer during the trial of the doctor and police constables she said were responsible for the assaults.

“I am committing suicide because of Gautam Pandit, Saurabh Bhakta, and Chandraprakash Pande,” she wrote in her suicide note, naming the alleged rapists.

Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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