Police have detained a herd of goats in the Indian city of Chennai after the force's brand new Toyota Innova police car was damaged by up to 12 errant beasts. Policeman Ganesh Babu, who was in charge of the car, is said to have caught the animals as they grazed near the city police station. The animals were allegedly standing on top of the vehicle, causing dents, scratching the paintwork and damaging the windscreen and wipers.
The officer was able to apprehend three of the suspects, who have now been remanded in custody at a nearby Society for the Protection of Animals centre. Police claimed the goats had a record of damaging vehicles belonging to local residents and shopkeepers, and had 'crossed the line' by damaging the brand new police car.
The arresting officer has filed a complaint against the goats' reported keeper, 37-year-old local woman Mary Arogynathian.
Ms Arogynathian will have to claim ownership of the animals before police are able to turn the complaint into a 'first information report' or to charge her with negligent conduct with respect to animals.
In an unusual twist, animal activists claim it is the police that should be charged for violating the City Police Act and Municipal Corporation Act of 1919, which bands cattle from the city limits. Dawn Williams of the Blue Cross of India said: “When police saw the goats, they should have handed them over to NGOs like the civic body does.”
The nine other suspects are still at large.