The dispute over who owns a three-year-old Labrador in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district has taken a new turn, with one of the claimants alleging that police are favouring the other owing to his political connections.
Police are waiting for the report of a DNA test of the dog to settle the dispute.
On November 18, Shadab Khan, a journalist, reached Dehat police station in Hoshangabad and told police that his pet ‘coco’, which was missing since August, had been wrongfully detained by one Krutik Shivhare.
Thereafter, a constable was sent to Shivhare’s house to fetch the dog and it was handed over to Khan after verification of the dog’s purchase certificate and vaccination slips.
The next day, Shivhare reached the police station and claimed police had wrongfully taken away his dog ‘tiger’ which he bought five months ago from Itarsi.
On Khan’s suggestion, police agreed on a DNA test to settle the dispute.
Inspector in-charge of the police station Hemant Shrivastav said, “While Shivhare did not have any document to establish his ownership, that does not mean he is not the owner. We have returned the dog to him till the DNA test report comes.”
Khan said ‘Coco’ has been a part of his family since he was a 22-day old puppy and had been given to him by his father-in-law who bought it from Panchmarhi. He claimed to know about the dog’s lineage and also agreed to pay Rs 30,000 for the DNA test for which samples have been sent to Hyderabad. He told The Indian Express, “No one is a fool to spend so much on a dog that does not belong to them. Coco is a part of my family. Once the DNA report comes, I will drag everyone to court.” He alleged that police is under pressure as Shivhare is an ABVP leader.
Shivhare, on his part, said he purchased the dog from one Anoop Sharma for Rs 5,000 in August. “Khan’s dog may have been lost but that does not mean my tiger is his coco.”
Meanwhile, People for Animals (PFA), an organisation working for welfare of animals, alleged that both claimants used the dog for breeding purposes and none of them should be given its custody. PFA’s Swati Bhadoria said, “We have warned them to get the dog registered for ownership and get it sterilised within three months, failing which action will be taken.”
Responding to the allegation, Shivhare said that while he had knowledge of dog breeding and carried it out for friends and family, he did not indulge in it professionally. Khan said he didn’t know anything about breeding and that the dog was brought into his family for his three-year-old son.
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