DAVANAGERE: This buffalo wrangle is not about cowboys or the extreme sport - it's a dispute so fierce over a prize animal that DNA tests will now settle the issue.
Residents of Belimalluru in Davanagere district and Haranahalli in Shivamogga, villages just 40km apart, have over the past week been bitterly contesting ownership of the buffalo, which acquired special significance due to its attachment to Marikamba Devi Temple in Haranahalli.
The conflicting assertions resulted in police from the two districts having to step in and placate the two groups.
Belimalluru villagers lodged a complaint with Honnali police on Thursday, stating that the buffalo belonged to their village goddess. They urged cops to step in and ensure the people of Haranahalli returned the buffalo to them.
A Honnali police officer said: "They asked us to take the animal away from the alleged thieves and hand it over to them," he said. "But the people from Haranahalli insist the buffalo is theirs."
People of Haranahalli said they donated the buffalo to Marikamba Devi Temple during a village fair a few years ago.
Davanagere superintendent of police Hanumantharaya decided that the best way to resolve the issue would be to send blood samples from the animal and from a buffalo cow in Konayyanahalli village near Belimalluru, whose residents say is the animal's mother, to a laboratory to determine which side has the rightful claim.
"We will send the samples to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad for DNA tests," the SP said.
Officials on Friday moved the animal to a goshala in Shivamogga for safekeeping. It will remain there till the DNA report arrives.