A 2015 photograph of a cow with gruesome facial injuries in Rajasthan's Raipur Mewar has been revived and is being falsely linked to a recent incident in Himachal Pradesh where a pregnant cow was wounded after eating flour balls filled with explosives.
The incident occurred in Himachal Pradesh's Bilaspur district late last month, where the cow was injured reportedly when it ate wheat flour mixed with explosive substances after straying into a farm. It sparked massive outrage online after a video posted by the owner of the cow with the injured animal, started doing the rounds. A similar incident which led to the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala had triggered massive outrage across the country last week.
BOOM found that the image of the injured cow is from Rajasthan, where the animal was grievously injured after he strayed into a garbage disposal, where explosives were hidden.
In several posts, netizens have called out the media for lack of reporting on the incident and misleadingly used the disturbing images of the cow injured in Rajasthan. The images show the cow with a face that has almost been accidentally blown up by explosives.
The post, originally captioned in Hindi, reads, "Himachal Pradesh: 4-month-old pregnant cow's face injured using crackers. But this was not newsworthy, nobody's son expressed raged, no animal lover has expressed empathy, because where the incident has happened the placed is ruled by BJP government."
(Original Text in Hindi: हिमाचल प्रदेश: 8 महीने की गर्भवती गाय के मुंह में पटाखा रखकर फोड़ दिया है, लेकिन गाय 'माँ' के दर्द की News नही बन सकी, न ही किसी औलाद को गुस्सा आया, न किसी जीव प्रेमी ने संवेदना व्यक्त की, क्योंकि जिस प्रदेश में यह अमानवीय कृत्य हुआ है, वहां भाजपा सरकार है!!!)
The images are also viral with captions in Bangla, "Shame, Shame, Shame. How many days can be spent like this? When will good sense prevail? In an explosion, a pregnant cow lost her jaw. After Kerala, Himachal Pradesh is witness to such a dastardly act."
(Original Text in Bangla: "ধিক্কার ধিক্কার ধিক্কার , আর কত দিন এই ভাবে চলবে? কবে মানুষের সুবুদ্ধি জাগবে? বিস্ফোরণে উড়ে গেল গর্ভবতী গরুর চোয়াল, কেরলের পর নৃশংস ঘটনার সাক্ষী হিমাচল প্রদেশ")
An IBTimes article has used the same unverified image with reference to the recent incident from Himachal Pradesh with the headline "Maneka Gandhi, other BJP leaders face the heat; #JusticeforNandini trends on Twitter". (archived link)
BOOM ran a reverse image search and found Facebook posts from as early as June, 2015, which used several images of the injured animal with the caption which claimed that the incident happened in Lilamba village under Raipur Tehsil, Pali district of Rajasthan. According to the caption of one such post, "Cow murderers put explosives in the garbage disposal area intentionally to kill the cow in Raipur Tehsil's Lilamba village. The Gau Mata accidentally started eating from the garbage. It was then that a huge blast occurred and villagers came running. Witnesses told that the jaw of the cow had been blown off."
We then ran relevant keyword searches and found a news report which was published on June 27, 2015 by Patrika. In the image published the injured cow can be seen standing from a different angle.
According to the news report, the incident occurred when the cow had strayed into the garbage disposal area of the village. Villagers alleged that miscreants had hidden explosives in the area. It is unclear if the explosives were planted to harm the cattle.
An excerpt from the news report reads, "According to eyewitnesses, the cow was grazing in the garbage disposal area, in front of the Madhyamik School. It is then when the explosion happened. The jaw of the cow was blown off and garbage was strewn all over as a result." The report further stated that a similar incident had inflicted injuries to a cow earlier that month. The cow later died. This agitated the villagers, to file a complaint against the miscreants. The owner of the cow, Sohanlal Meghwal, had also filed a complaint with the police regarding the same.
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