The police was informed on Friday about the bird being found injured outside the Delhi High Court. An officer from the Tilak Marg police station said, "The assistant sub-inspector did everything he could to save the bird. He rushed the bird to a hospital in Chandni Chowk where the bird was declared dead."
The bird was then taken to Jaunapur in south Delhi, where a post-mortem was carried out. The police personnel were in touch with the New Delhi Municipal Council or NDMC officers to ensure that they did not go wrong in handling the national bird, the police official said.
After the post-mortem, the police personnel consulted the doctor who had carried it out and the NDMC officials, both of whom suggested that the national bird be buried wrapped in a tricolour, the police official said.
The post-mortem report would come in a week's time which would spell out the exact cause of the peacock's death, he said.
Senior officers from the district said the policemen had disposed of the body of the bird in a "bonafide" manner and after consulting forest and NDMC officials. They said that no action would be taken against the police personnel.
However, wildlife activists criticised the handling of the case, saying animals should be preferably be cremated in the presence of forest officials.
"Post-mortem has to be done in a supervised environment in the presence of a forest official. The post-mortem has to be photographed and videographed," Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and chairman of Wildlife SOS, said.
"And, the animal should be preferably cremated in the presence of a forest official, to avoid harvesting of any body parts with an intent to smuggle," he said.
There is an incinerator in the Delhi Zoo as well, the official of the NGO said.
Wildlife activist Gauri Maulekhi said that the forest department needs to be pro-active in assisting the police in such cases.
"I am not aware of any such protocols. There is no such thing that is followed at all. The point is that the police did not have any business burying it.
"It was the forest department that needed to carry out the post-mortem and send the viscera for forensic examination. The forest department of Delhi does not respond, despite being contacted by the police," Ms Maulekhi said.
She said that she had also written a letter to chief wildlife warden, Delhi, informing him about the issue.
"In a case last month, the dead body of a peacock was lying with the police for two days and despite repeated calls to the forest department, nobody came. The forest department should be pro-actively telling the police that we should be informed in such cases. Whatever the police did was in good faith," she said.