A disturbing video showing a bulldozer executing a bull is being shared with captions claiming that the animal was recently killed in Uttar Pradesh, and that this was a new method of executing stray animals in the state.
BOOM found this claim to be false; the incident happened in 2019 in a village in Pune district of Maharashtra.
The video is being shared on Facebook with a Hindi caption that translates to 'What form did the bulldozer baba assume? Police should identify the accused and give strict punishment. Is this a new way to eliminate stray animals'.
(Hindi: यह कौन सा रूप धारण कर लिया बुलडोजर बाबा ने. पुलिस आरोपियों की पहिचान कर कड़ी सज़ा दे l य़ह फिर आवारा पशुओं को खत्म करने का यह नया तरीका हैl)
The video shows a bull being cornered by a bulldozer, with the front shovel of the machine being used to crush the animal in a brutal manner.
The term 'bulldozer baba' is a sobriquet given to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting that the caption makes a veiled reference to him.
Trigger Warning: The video is graphic in nature and can be disturbing for some viewers. Viewers' discretion is advised.
Another Facebook post shares the same video overlaid with a Hindi song with a caption translating to 'It's not necessary that bulldozer is being used for only good things. Police should identify the accused and give strict punishment. Is this a new way to eliminate stray animals. It's too much, this bulldozer is being used on innocent animals'.
(Hindi: जरूरी नहीं है बुलडोज़र का इस्तेमाल अच्छे कार्यों के लिये ही हो रहा हो पुलिस आरोपियों की पहचान कर कड़ी सज़ा दे l य़ह फिर आवारा पशुओं को खत्म करने का यह नया तरीका हैl हद हो गई इस बुलडोजर से, निर्दोष बेजुबान जानवर पर भी चलने लगा बुलडोजर सत्ता का नशा.)
BOOM did a keyword search on Google with "bull executed by bulldozer", which led us to a news report by Mumbai Mirror from November 2019. The report contained a clearer version of the viral video, and mentioned that the incident had taken place near Indapur town in Maharashtra's Pune district.
According to villagers' testimony in the report, the bull was killed because the farmers could not afford to keep the aged animal.
We searched for other news reports on the incident, and found another article by Mid-Day on the same incident which provided a different reason for the brutal execution.
As per the Mid-Day article, the bull was bitten by a rabid dog, following which it had acted violently towards villagers, leading to its execution. The report carried a screenshot of the viral video.
"The bull was sick; it had been wreaking havoc in the village after bitten by a mad dog who had rabies," Assistant Police Inspector Jeevan Mane, Bhigwan Police Station told Mid-Day.
Yet another report, by Latestly, stated that the bull was killed as it was "old and sick". All the reports stated that two people had been booked for executing the animal.
BOOM could not ascertain whether the bull was in fact rabid or not. However, it is certain that the incident had taken place in Maharashtra. The news reports also make it clear that it was not a case of executing 'stray animals'.