Sromona Bhattacharyya Bhattacharyya
Hailing from Kolkata and now a resident of Bengaluru, Sromona is a multimedia journalist who has a knack for digging stories that truly deserve attention.
In another incident which sheds light on animal cruelty in India, the mutilated bodies of 16 puppies were found in garbage bags dumped on the premises of government-run NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata’s Sealdah on Sunday, January 13. After interrogation, a third-year student and a second-year student have confessed to committing the heinous crime and they will be presented at the court tomorrow for their hearing.
The incident caught the attention of not only pet lovers and activists in the city, but nationwide, which sparked outrage and debate on social media platforms. A preliminary postmortem report shows that the puppies were hit with blunt weapons and that internal bleeding contributed to their deaths.
Hours later, a video of the mindless act being carried out by two women, one of whom was later identified to be a third-year nursing student surfaced on the internet. The 25-second clip was shot by a resident of Dr R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital’s hostel shows two women mercilessly beating one of the puppies with a club. An FIR has been lodged at the Entally Police Station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The police had initially slapped an IPC Section 429 (killing or maiming animals) on Sunday, after which IPC Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and Section 11(1)(L) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 were added, reported The Times Of India. The culprits will have to serve a five-year jail term or a fine or both.
A three-member team headed by the deputy superintendent of NRS Hospital is looking into the case and has also summoned the women for questioning. Pet lovers and activists are carrying out demonstrations in front of the Entally Police Station, demanding the immediate arrest of those who committed such a heinous crime. Prantick Chatterjee, an animal rights’ activist who is involved in the case, while talking to The Logical Indian said, “We are going to continue with our protests in front of the police station until those accused are identified and arrested.”
Another pet lover, Kushal Samaddar, who is also participating in the protests told The Logical Indian that even though the women have been identified, there have been no arrests yet. “Around 300 to 400 people are protesting in front of the police station. The women are inside the police station and are being questioned. However, the police did not make any formal announcement,” he added.
The atrocity came to light after a local saw a badly injured dog bleeding profusely from a nearly-gouged out bag. Locals rushed to the spot only to comprehend the nature and extent of brutality. Reportedly, at the time, two puppies were still found alive and breathing. The adult dog and two puppies were rushed to the veterinary clinic where one of the puppies succumbed to its injuries.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Atin Ghosh has also criticised the incident and said, “We have written to the superintendent of the hospital mentioning if somebody associated with the hospital is found involved in the matter then they should not be spared,” reported Millenium Post.
Cases of abuse against animals in Indian have gone unabated for some time now, with many incidents even going unreported or documented. Many are even unaware of the laws attached to it and most importantly are hesitant to consider the fact that even animals deserve basic rights. Reports of stray dogs in India being massacared have become increasingly common, perhaps because the killing of a stray animal is punishable by a mere fine of Rs 50 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
It is also surprising to see somebody make a video of the atrocity, but, not raising a voice against the cruelty. Is it just for publicity?
While the Supreme Court has even determined to examine the law and place harsher punishments, some individuals seem to miss the mark on why incidents like these are more-so concerning. The fact that India houses a large population of stray dogs (30 Million) is not unknown, however, killing these defenceless animals is not the solution. A number of state-funded facilities like sterilisation to control breeding and adoption are safer and more humane options of checking stray dog population in India. Not only does The Logical Indian detest such a heinous crime but also urges the authorities to look into the matter and punish the culprits justifiably.
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