Bengaluru: Couple Attacked By Locals For Protesting Against Throwing Stones At Strays They Were Feeding
A couple feeding stray dogs was allegedly assaulted by locals in Bengaluru’s Lal Bahadur Shastrinagar on Sunday, March 10. Steffi Rajesh and Ranjit Joseph were walking their pet in their locality, feeding other strays walking with them, when they were chased by goons against whom they had protested for throwing stones at the dogs. The attackers lived in a neighbouring apartment.
“They (the attackers) had just crossed us and the dogs started barking. They got down and started pelting stones at the strays and at my pet. This is when we started protesting and they attacked us from nowhere,” Ranjit told The News Minute.
While the couple escaped and ran back to their house to collect their phones and inform the police, an attacker approached them with a metal weapon and tried to stab the wife. Following the attack, they filed a complaint at the HAL police station.
Ranjit, who recently faced this difficult situation, said, “As a feeder, I always make sure that I give them food in an isolated area so as not to inconvenience other residents. I have also tied up with the BBMP and NGOs to get at least 7-8 dogs in our street vaccinated and sterilized. Once that is done, there is no risk of population explosion.”
There has been an increase in attacks against the people who feed dogs. Gone are the days when only the stray dogs had to endure aggressive human behavior. The dog feeders are now being verbally abused, and physically harassed with a few of them facing eviction notices from the societies they live in.
Attacks on dog feeders on the rise
Dog lovers have reported several such incidents of mistreatment and oppression from all across the country. The Better India reported that a 33-year-old single woman living in Gurgaon’s Nirvana Woodstock has faced the brunt of feeding the dogs in her neighborhood. A mob of around 100 people gathered outside her house and blamed her for feeding and nourishing the dogs that were becoming a nuisance and a threat to their kids. Besides, several calls were also made to her landlord to evict her from her house where she had been living for years.
In another bizarre incident, Rohith who is an engineer by profession and resides in a gated community in Bengaluru landed in the police station for feeding and taking the strays for walks. One of his neighbors registered a complaint against him and at the police station, he was allegedly treated like a petty criminal and made to stand near a cell without his footwear from 4:30 pm in the evening till around 8:30 pm. He thought all along that it was because he stared at his neighbor, but then the police sub-inspector called him in and asked him to write an apology letter, saying he will never feed strays again. “He wanted an apology to be written that hereafter I will not feed strays and involve myself with rescues anymore,” Rohith told India Today.
The Logical Indian take
Cruelty against animals has become a harsh reality in the country. 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 confessed to committing the heinous crime.
While the country already has to deal with so much negativity, people like Ranjit and his wife restore hour faith in humanity. They make us believe that while on one hand there are people capable of utmost cruelty, on the other hand there are people who protect these innocent animals with their kindness and compassion. But the sad truth is that people like them, who should ideally be helped and supported, are being chased and attacked for doing their part to make the world a better place.
Perpetrators in such cases often roam free because authorities fail to take strict actions against them. It is important that people are made to realise that committing violence against animals or those feeding the animals is in no way a petty issue which can be overlooked. It is time that these incidents are dealt with more seriously so that people like these attackers are afraid of the consequences of their actions.
As per the Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. The only humane, legal and scientific way of dealing with street dogs is to get them vaccinated and sterilized under Animal Birth Control Programme (ABC). Under this program, stray dogs are picked up, neutered, vaccinated against rabies and released in the respective areas from where they had been picked up, which is in accordance with the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001, framed under Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and as per the orders of the Supreme Court of India.