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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Will Lutyens’ elites finally wake up to the stray dog menace?

The stray dog menace has claimed yet another life. However, this time, it might hopefully draw the attention of the Lutyens elites as the victim happens to be the owner of Wagh Bakri Tea Group.

Wagh Bakri group owner loses life to stray dog menace.

Parag Desai was admitted to Ahmedabad’s Shalby Hospital, which issued a statement said, “It was stated that the patient fell down after being chased by dogs, but apparently, there were no dog bite marks on his body. A CT scan revealed acute subdural hematoma with bilateral frontal contusion” and added that he was initially admitted to the ICU but discharged at the request of his relatives.

According to available information, on 15 October, Desai was out on a morning walk when he was chased by stray dogs. He was trying to protect himself from a group of aggressive dogs when he had a fall outside his residence, leading to a brain haemorrhage. He was shifted from Shalby Hospital to Zydus Hospital. He succumbed to a brain haemorrhage during a surgical treatment at Zydus on 22 October.

Poor children attacked by stray dogs

In recent times, many innocent lives have been lost to the stray dog menace. Children are the most vulnerable, with numerous dog attacks on them being reported from across the country.

Here are some instances of stray dog attacks reported in recent times from different parts of Bharat:

1) A pack of dogs mauled a three-year-old toddler to death and injured a six-year-old girl in Agra. The incident took place in Kumargarh village under the Doki police station limits. “A three-year-old girl was attacked by stray dogs when she was playing in front of her house. She was dragged by the dogs to an open field outside the village,” sub-inspector Ashok Kumar said. The other minor girl, who tried to rescue the toddler, was also attacked by the dogs, but she managed to run to safety, the official added. By the time the locals gathered and chased the dogs away, the three-year-old had succumbed to the injuries.

2) An 11-year-old mute boy in Kerala’s Kannur lost his life after stray dogs mauled him to death.

3) A 12-year-old boy known as Prince, who had run away from home to escape his father’s beating, was mauled to death by stray dogs in Kannauj district. The incident came to light when the child’s body with serious injury marks was found at a desolate spot 1000 meters from his home.

4) A 65-year-old man was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs on the premises of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Safdar Ali, a resident of a locality adjoining the campus, was out on a morning walk in the garden of the Sir Syed Museum when the dogs attacked him.

5) Adarsh Sharma (11) lost his life to a dog attack. The child’s partially devoured body was found by locals in Nehru Nagar ward. This incident took place this April in Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj town.

6) Two more incidents of children being killed in dog attacks were reported from Uttar Pradesh (UP) in April. Two separate incidents of kids being mauled to death were reported from Aligarh and Moradabad districts. In Aligarh, a three-month-old infant was mauled to death by a stray dog when her family was attending a wedding near their house while she slept unattended. The incident took place under Quarsi police station limits. In the second incident, a seven-year-old boy was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in Moradabad’s Bilari area. The boy, Savendra Kumar, had gone out with his sister to serve tea to his father when they were surrounded by the strays.

7) In a shocking incident, a three-year-old toddler was attacked by a pack of at least six stray dogs on a road in Nagpur. The incident occurred in Anmol Nagar when the boy, identified as Duggu Dubey, had stepped out on the road near his home. Suddenly, the stray canines pounced and attacked him from all sides, started pulling, gnawing, and biting him as he fell down and screamed for help. Duggu’s mother heard the screams and rushed to his help, hit some stones to scare away the dogs, picked up her bleeding son, and rushed home. The boy suffered deep bite marks and gashes on his neck, back, arms, and legs.

8) In January, an elderly destitute woman was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in Karnataka’s Dharwad district. According to police, the incident took place in the early hours at Uppina Betageri Khabarstan village. The woman eked out her livelihood by begging in the region. The pack of dogs attacked her when she was sleeping near a building in the village.

Apathy of Lutyens elites

The apathy of Lutyens elites, judiciary, animal rights activists, and politicians like Maneka Gandhi are majorly responsible for the loss of innocent lives to attacks by packs of stray dogs. The hearts of these elites beat only for dogs and cats, while the same lot shows no empathy for cows that are smuggled and slaughtered. In fact, they only berate Gaurakshaks.

In April this year, a temple in Badaun district, which had put up a banner asking devotees not to feed stray dogs, was forced to remove it after the issue was flagged by an animal rights activist. According to the temple committee, the motive behind the diktat was to check the stray dog menace.

A 4.54-minute audio clip has surfaced on social media sites where BJP Sultanpur MP and former Union minister Maneka Gandhi allegedly threatens Bengaluru businessman Ramalingam to book him in a sexual harassment case after news of Ramlingam hitting stray dog with a cricket bat reached her. According to the police, Ramlingam reportedly hit the dog after it bit his daughter two days ago.

In the audio clip, Maneka Gandhi purportedly threatens him by asking animal activists to file a sexual harassment case against him if he attacks stray dogs or animals again. Doesn’t this amount to bullying and misuse of power? And what if something untoward happens to the child? Would Maneka Gandhi take responsibility for the child’s life?

Even the courts have been dilly-dallying on the issue. The Supreme Court (SC) passed an order last May permitting stray dogs to be fed at designated feeding spots inside colonies. SC bench of justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and Sudhanshu Dhulia passed the order. However, just two months prior to the said order, it had stayed a Delhi High Court (HC) order allowing citizens to feed strays in every residential colony.

On 24 June 2021, the Delhi HC issued directives regarding the feeding of stray dogs. The Delhi HC emphasized the need to treat animals with respect and dignity, stating that street dogs have the right to food, but it should be done at designated areas in consultation with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and Resident Welfare Associations or Municipal Corporations. These entities are responsible for ensuring access to food and water for community dogs in their respective areas.

However, the Mumbai (Bombay) HC’s Nagpur bench prohibited feeding stray dogs and said that those who wished to feed them must adopt them. It also ordered the Nagpur civic officials and police authorities to act sternly against those who constructed the authorities acting against the menace of stray dogs. Karnataka HC Chief Justice Prasanna Varale said that feeding stray dogs and birds in undesignated public places could be hazardous and termed it uncalled sympathy.

The Humane Foundation for People and Animals (HFPA), which contested the Delhi High Court order in the apex court, presented statistics indicating that approximately 7 million dog bite incidents occur annually, predominantly affecting low-income individuals and children. Serious solutions like putting up strays for adoption and sterilization (neutering), among others, have to be adopted and implemented to ensure that more lives are not lost to dog attacks.

Five Star activism is nothing but bullying to have one’s way with zero responsibility. None of the Five Star activists would own up to responsibility for the numerous dog attacks on innocent. It is high time that the Government and authorities come up with solutions to curb the menace of stray dogs. As for Five Star activists, they would do well to walk the talk and adopt strays instead of flaunting breeds like Siberian Huskies that are not suited for the Indian climate as status symbols.

(Featured Image Source: The Tatva India)

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