Love is an emotion not restricted to humans only. Even animals that are well-cared for and loved harbour it. When Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Sub-inspector Mangal passed away, not only his family was grief-stricken but also animals he groomed and looked after in the ITBP.
The 47-year old was a resident of Una, Himachal Pradesh, and died after suffering a heart attack at Lohitpur, Arunchal Pradesh, where ITBP's animal training centre is located.
He had fed the horses at around 6 am on July 16 and passed away an hour later. The horses at the base on sensing Mangal's absence went into mourning and refused to eat anything for two days.
Mangal was considered one of the best animal trainers in the ITBP and used to talk to horses while grooming and feeding them. A senior ITBP official says he had a special bond with the animals and they reciprocated in kind.
He had the uncanny ability to converse with a horse and it appeared as if the horse understood his every word. Similarly, Mangal sensed what the horse was trying to convey and this made their bond unbreakable.
It took two days to transport his body to his hometown, which is around 3,000 km from Lohitpur. The body was cremated with full military honours on Wednesday, July 18.
In absence of roads in the treacherous mountain and jungle terrain, the ITBP uses horses to transport supplies to its far-flung forward posts along the border with China.