Carcasses of 15 puppies were found dumped on the premises of Neel Ratan Sarkar Hospital in Kolkata’s Sealdah Sunday, triggering protests by animal lovers and outrage on social media. Hours later, a video of two women repeatedly hitting a puppy with sticks, purportedly shot from a hostel adjacent to the state-run hospital building, surfaced online.
While two puppies and a dog were found alive, one of the puppies had died by the time it was brought to a veterinary hospital in Belgachia. The other two animals are in critical condition.
Two complaints were lodged at Entally police station on the basis of which an FIR was registered, but no arrests have been made yet. The post-mortem report indicated that all the puppies were beaten to death, and had multiple fractures, police said. The hospital said it will conduct an internal inquiry.
Police said that on Sunday evening, hospital staffer Putul Roy noticed a bleeding puppy trying to emerge from a pile of plastic bags dumped near the nursing hostel. Passersby who had gathered at the spot by then started opening up the plastic bags, and found 15 dead puppies inside. The three animals found alive were rushed to Belgachia.
“It appeared that the puppies were killed two days ago. The carcasses were taken to a veterinary hospital for post-mortem examination. The report said they were beaten to death,” said a police officer.
The video that appeared on social media soon after showed two women, who were wearing surgical gloves, repeatedly hitting a puppy with a stick. Police sources said a nursing student was being questioned because she allegedly resembled one of the women in the 25-second video.
The FIR was registered under IPC section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming animal), the punishment for which can be imprisonment that may extend to five years, or a fine, or both. Police sources said they are scanning CCTV footage to identify the culprits.
“This is an inhuman, brutal and shameful act. A committee has been formed. Anyone found guilty will not be spared. The video is being verified,” said Deputy Superintendent of NRS Hospital Dwaipayan Biswas.
The video, appeared to have been shot from an adjacent hostel of a dental college, which is separated from NRS by a boundary wall.
“The centenary building has several other departments and is frequented by many people. It is shocking and unfortunate. There are several dogs in our premises, but such an incident never took place,” said NRS Medical Superintendent Saurabh Chakraborty.
KMC Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh said that the civic body would also conduct an inquiry into the incident, said a PTI report.
Meanwhile, the Ananda Asram Welfare Trust, a non-profit organisation, staged a massive demonstration demanding arrest of the accused.
“This is such a barbaric incident, I hope the accused are arrested at the earliest. I demand strictest punishment for them,” said Trinamool MLA and animal rights activist Debasree Roy.
Facebook was flooded by posts condemning the incident. “I saw the video and could not control myself. This is very very painful. I want maximum people to share the post so it reaches the highest authority and the culprits are put behind bars,” animal lover Debadrita Dutta wrote on Facebook.