Animal rights activists sore over ‘merry-go-round’ carriages

Even as the controversy over unlicensed Victoria carriages and overworked horses in the city rages, animal rights activists have complained against new "merry-go-round" carriages used to take people on joyrides.

Marine Drive police on Saturday impounded one such carriage on a complaint made by NGO People For Animals (PFA). This was pursuant to an order of the Bombay High Court on January 29, by which the court directed that the police should impound Victoria carriages found to be plying without a licence.

Lawyer Ambika Hiranandani, who is also a member of PFA, said, "These are huge iron merry-go-rounds on the backs of horse carriages. The drivers load them up with 8-10 people.

The carriages have no licences whatsoever and yet they are allowed to ply with no one stopping them. Often, it is a young pony who is pulling the weight. There is no fear of the court orders or of police action at all."

In the last hearing of the ongoing case in the High Court, the state government had told the court that 29 licences for Victoria horses have been renewed. A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta had directed that carriages should prominently display their licences, as also the fitness certificates for the horses and the licence of the driver.

'I was forcibly taken in Victoria carriage'

An animal rights activist has claimed that he was forcibly taken all the way from Colaba to Dongri in a Victoria carriage after he complained about the absence of a licence for the carriage. The activist, Malabar Hill resident Chandrashekhar Periagaram, registered a complaint with Colaba police station on Sunday.

As per the complaint, the incident took place on Saturday when he spotted an unlicenced carriage at Regal Circle, Colaba. He claims to have got into the carriage with the intention of taking them to the police station. However, the driver - identified as Hanif - took him all the way to Dongri, where some other persons took the carriage away. ENS

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