As the Kila Raipur Sports Committee replaced bullock cart races with horse races, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has once again written to the Deputy Commissioner to stop these races because such animal races can be conducted only after seeking permission from AWBI. Even registration is to be obtained from AWBI as per provisions of the Performing Animals (Registration) Act, 2001.
Apart from horse races, dog races will also be organised on the third and fourth day of the rural sports festival. Dr Sandeep Jain, a member of AWBI, in a letter written to DC Rajat Aggarwal and Police Commissioner Pramod Ban, has asked them to intervene in the matter. Jain said, “Horse races can be conducted after due permission which has not been taken by the organising committee while dog races are banned and still the committee is claiming that they will organise the races. So authorities need to check on all these aspects.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, horse races were organised in the sports stadium of Kila Raipur in which 29 horses took part. On Friday, three horses will run at one time, followed by four horses on the third day. The organisers, however, maintained that they would be organising the above-mentioned races and they were not aware of any such letter.
Jagbir Singh Grewal, from Grewal Sports Association, said, “We have not received any such letter.”
Thursday’s event was declared open by police officer Naveen Singla. The horse of Lucky from Balion village won the first prize worth Rs 51,000 by running 400 metres in just 15.37 seconds, followed by the horse of Jhujar Singh which completed the race in 15.47 seconds while the third prize was won by the horse of Karan by completing the race in 15.62 seconds.
On Friday, the event will be formally inaugurated by Cabinet minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon.
Even in the past two tournaments, Kila Raipur had been organising dog races despite ban and this will be the third year in a row.
The recent government-sponsored National Livestock Mela at Muktsar had organised only breed competition of dogs and no races were held.