Three people were arrested Saturday for allegedly inflicting cruelty on a stray dog at Kendriya Vihar Society, Sector 48. Another accused is yet to be arrested.
The incident came to light after a video of the accused allegedly manhandling the dog went viral on social networking sites two days ago.
An FIR was lodged Saturday by Nandini Kakar, a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, under Section 11 (1) of the Animal Protection Act at the Sector 49 police station.
Among the people named in the FIR are the president of the Society, V K Bansal, and other residents Brajesh Kaushal, Omesh and V P Saini.
While three of them are expected to be released on bail, Kaushal is not in town.
According to animal activist Varun Sharma, the accused mercilessly beat up a stray dog on the evening of January 27, bundled him in a sack and then dumped him on the Zirakpur-Patiala road.
“We’ve been searching for the dog since then, and found out that he is alive. A bystander who saw these men release the dog at the said location confirmed, but we have been not able to locate him thereafter,” added Sharma. Fondly addressed as ‘Tibby’, the dog was looked after by Kendriya Vihar resident Dalbir Singh.
“My daughter was very fond of animals and she grew attached to him. She passed away a few months ago, and my wife and I have been taking care of him since then. He has never hurt anyone, and would keep to himself,” said Singh, who was away when this incident happened.
Although the children of the society said the dog was “friendly and harmless”, parents disagreed. “A few days ago, a child fell down the stairs because of the dog. He would chase children, litter and defecate and bark unnecessarily. We can’t have this kind of menace,” said the residents. Ironically, most of them own pets. “Our campus has to be clear of them,” they added on condition of anonymity.
The security guard of the society too had been warned by the residents. “They gave in writing that our three months’ salary will be cut if we don’t get rid of the dog,” said the harried guard.
“I had been receiving complaints for the last couple of months. Two stray dogs entered our campus and have been troubling residents.
They say they pay the guard to keep stray animals out, to keep the vicinity safe, and so we had to take some action,” said accused V K Bansal. According to him, the videos are a mere “act of mischief by children and this entire episode has been exaggerated”.
“We had reached out to the MC first, but they couldn’t catch hold of the dog, so we took action ourselves. We simply caught hold of him and took him out of this place. We never beat him,” asserted Bansal.
On Saturday, protesters gathered outside the society and raised slogans. Kakar said that they would be approaching DPI (Schools) to lodge a complaint against Kaushal (he is a teacher with Kendriya Vidyalaya-47). They will also be taking out a candlelight march outside the society at 5 pm Sunday. “The solution is not torture or dislocation. That is illegal and it only distresses the animal more. We have to work towards animal rights awareness, towards sterilisation and vaccination drives to manage this issue,” added Sharma.