In a bizarre incident that has triggered anger among activists, two pigeons were killed after Congress workers in Andhra Pradesh tied firecrackers to the birds' tails and ignited them as a welcome to state Congress Committee president N Raghuveera Reddy in West Godavari district.
The incident occurred in Kovvur on Saturday as Reddy, who was accompanied by former minister Kondru Murali and Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao, crossed the rail-cum-road bridge across Godavari in their convoy.
Reports suggest that the pigeons were stuffed into paper cones and sealed tight so they wouldnâ€™t flutter loose. The Congress workers figured that the rocket would burst in the sky and the pigeons would fly free. However, the cracker's explosion completely burnt the birds and they fell to the ground.
â€śThe culprits should be booked under Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 2001...I wonder what kind of message the Congress leaders intend to give to the young generation by resorting to such kind of cruelty to doves which represent peace,â€ť an Animal Welfare Board of India told Deccan Chronicle.
The report also adds that this practice used to exist 50 years ago, but had died down since.
Animal rights activists are now calling for a detailed enquiry into the incident.