A delegation of Kerala municipality chiefs on Thursday staged a protest against the Centre and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi over their stand on culling of stray dogs, which have become a “nightmare” in the state. Leading the protest organised by the Kerala Municipality Chairmen Chamber, an organisation representing civic body chiefs, Lok Sabha MP M B Rajesh said the minister was not concerned about the stray dogs menace even though kids were being attacked.
“Maneka Gandhi’s love for animals is affecting lakhs of people in Kerala. Even kids are being mauled in the state. Stray dogs have become a nightmare. The minister is not concerned about any of these,” he said. The protest at Jantar Mantar here saw participation of almost all the municipal chiefs in the state.
The MP from Palakkad also condemned the Union Minister’s call for invoking the Kerala Anti-social Activities Prevention Act (KAAPA) against those who were involved in culling of “dangerous” strays which attacked a 90-year-old man in Thiruvananthapuram last month. “It is quite normal that people respond when a 90-year-old man was attacked and killed by stray dogs. But for a Union Minister to threaten the people with KAAPA charges is highly condemnable,” he said.
Rajesh also said that the Union Minister, who is known for her love towards animals, is silent on controlling the menace. “The minister’s demand to invoke KAAPA amounts to ridiculing the people of the state. The Centre has also taken a similar stand,” he added. Rajesh also said that the state government is trying to implement scientific methods to curb the stray dog menace.
“We want an amicable solution to this issue. The state government is trying to save people by implementing scientific solutions. Instead of assisting the state’s efforts in curbing the menace, the Centre and the minister are threatening the people with KAAPA charges,” he said.
On October 28, Kerala Minister for Local Administration K T Jaleel had apprised the Assembly that 53,000 people had to be treated for dog bites in government medical college hospitals alone. He said that four persons were killed in the last four months in stray dog attacks and 701 people, including 175 children, suffered dog bites across Kerala.
Mattannur Municipal Chairman K Bhaskaran and Chamber secretary Sabu K Jacob also addressed the gathering.