Social activist Jose Maveli was arrested on Monday on charges of killing stray dogs at Chengamanad village panchayat in Ernakulam district.
Maveli took the lead in killing the dogs after the panchayat governing body wanted to get rid of them. He was charged under sections 428, 429 and 149 of IPC, 120 of Kerala Police Act and Prevention of Cruelty towards Animals Act. Maveli was later granted bail.
The decision to kill the animals is likely to put the local body at odds with the state government, which had clarified last month that it had not discussed “indiscriminate killing of dogs”.
“We are doing this for the good of the people,” said BJP’s Sindhu P N, ward member, Chengamanadu panchayat. “The decision to give the go-ahead was taken unanimously by panchayat members cutting across party lines.”
“This drive will continue for a week or so until we are convinced that dogs don’t pose a threat,” added Sindhu.
The panchayat member claimed that the Animal Birth Control programme had failed in the state. “Veterinarians, in fact, don’t want to perform the procedure in the absence of infrastructure. They also fear that a case may be filed against them if the animal died during the process,” she said.
Last week, a panchayat member and a municipal councillor in Ernakulam district were arrested after they took initiative to kill stray dogs in their regions. However, both of them got huge support from the public and members of the Stray Dog Free Movement.