The Uttar Pradesh district police on Tuesday filed an FIR against 35-year-old Devram Prajapati under sections of the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act for arriving on a donkey to file nomination papers. An FIR was also filed against BJP candidate from Noida, Pankaj Singh, for violating the model code of conduct ahead of the UP polls.
Prajapati arrived on a white donkey, covered in garlands, as a small group of residents from his village in Dadri walked to the nomination centre on Monday. A day later, Singh filed his nomination amid much fanfare as his supporters reached the centre in at least five cars.
“An FIR for violating the code of conduct was registered against Pankaj Singh since around six-seven cars reached within 100 metres of the centre, which is not permitted. An FIR against Prajapati has been registered under Sections of the Animal Cruelty Act,” said Anuj Kumar, SHO, Surajpur police station.
A resident of Rauza Jalalpur village in Dadri constituency, Prajapati belongs to the Kumhar (potter) community and is contesting the upcoming polls as an independent candidate. “Our ancestors have looked after donkeys as pets and they have been a crucial part of the community. Donkeys carry mud, utensils and clothes for us. We have never ill-treated them,” he said.
Alleging a conspiracy by the state administration in lodging an FIR against him, Prajapati said he had decided to go to the Centre on a donkey to portray the status of his community.