Pakistani Police Break Up Donkey Racing Operation

A donkey and group of punters were rounded up by police in Pakistan following an incident of illegal donkey race gambling in the Punjab region. In a bizarre turn of events, the donkey itself was arrested by the police and has been impounded at the local station. The incident has caused somewhat of a media frenzy in the region due to its comedic value.

Donkey in a field.

A donkey has been held in police custody following an incident of illegal gambling in Pakistan, leading to a subsequent internet viral explosion over interest in the fate of the impounded animal. ©ansgarscheffold/Pixabay

The donkey was arrested on charges of ‘participating in gambling racing’, along with the animal, several individuals were taken into custody and the police recovered around 120,000 Pakistani rupees (approximately £750). The prevention of illegal gambling is a common responsibility of local law enforcement, and this incident is not the first occurrence of donkey racing.

The Pakistani region has long fought for more progressive gambling legislation, and whilst open casinos and betting industries are not commonplace in this part of the world, other methods and means are utilized by business interests to cement their grip. Neighboring country India has received huge international investment in its gambling industry as smartphone iGaming apps explode in popularity.

Donkey Arrest Goes Viral

The unusual nature of this case has captivated the local population, and indeed gained viral exposure for the incident. The incident which occurred in Rahim Yar Khan city located in the Punjab province involved eight local men, all of whom were rounded up and arrested with one donkey on charges of illegal gambling.

A video surfaced online showing the donkey tied up outside of a local police station. The bizarre incident of arresting a donkey has captivated the internet meme sphere, the video of the donkey which is tied up presumably waiting to be interrogated has gone viral, with internet users finding the whole thing absolutely hilarious.

But the eight men arrested may not be finding things such a laughing matter, charges in Pakistan for illegal gambling are still quite severe. There is still an archaic set of laws in Pakistan towards gambling in this part of the world. Illegal gambling carries one-year jail sentence in some cases, and perpetrators can sometimes be handed very heft fines for their involvement in these operations.

At the current moment, it is not clear whether the same penalties will apply to the livestock that is sitting in police custody. In a strange circumstance where the animal is being indicted in the illegal gambling activities, animal rights activists are calling for the police department to use common sense and release the animal back to the owner. It is not yet clear whether there will be movements in personnel or livestock whilst the case is being investigated, but for the sake of credibility and justice the donkey has been returned to its owner.

The men involved had apparently placed wagers that the donkey would be able to run 600 meters in 40 seconds, which is a considerable speed for livestock to charge. Donkeys are frequently utilized as burden loading animals in the area, and cases of illegal betting and donkey cart racing are not uncommon.

The incident has attracted local and international media interest, with the UK’s largest media organization the BBC reporting on the incident, and journalists have been gathering around the police station for several days snapping photos of the impounded animal. The ordeal for the donkey is at least coming to a close, and we hope that his owner Ghulam Mustafa doesn’t intend on using his livestock for any more illegal gambling time-trial races.

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