<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bizarre criminal case, about half a dozen donkeys were ‘arrested’ by the security guards of Orai District jail in Uttar Pradesh for grazing exotic plants under Swachch Bharat Mission outside jail complex. The ‘detention’ took place four days ago on the orders of the Jail Superintendent, Orai District Jail Sita Ram. “Under the Swachch Bharat Mission we had planted some exotic plants outside jail premises to increase the green cover. But to our shock, majority of the plants were grazed by stray animals. We incurred a loss of Rs 60,000.Security guards were shocked to find that donkeys and goats were grazing their plants. On the orders of Jail Superintendent, they were treated like any other criminals and ‘detained’ making grazing a crime in Uttar Pradesh. Donkeys were chained at an old house of the jailer within the jail premises. The owners were located and they were told to ‘bail out’ their animals only after filling a bond on the affidavit for committing the ‘crime’ like any other criminal.“I apologized and submitted an affidavit to the Jail Superintendent swearing in that his donkeys will never come near the jail in future. My donkeys were released only after that,” said Kamlesh, owners of donkeys.The Jail Superintendent Sita Ram justified the ‘detention’ and ‘bail out’ only after submission of an affidavit saying that it was to give a message to owners of animals not to let them roam free. “Stray animals cause accidents resulting in deaths and damage crop worth lakhs each year. This action will give a strong message to owners,” said he.When jail staff refused to release his donkeys, the owner Kamlesh approached a local BJP leader Shkati Gahoi. Both went to jail on Monday to get donkeys released on personal bond on an affidavit.