In a case of animal cruelty, a man beat two community dogs in Dindoshi with an iron rod. Both dogs are now missing and one of them who sustained grievous injuries is believed to be dead. Locals and animal activists said the Dindoshi police were reluctant to register a complaint and instead threatened to book the crowd when they persisted.
A local who witnessed the assault on the dogs around 9.30 pm on Saturday said it was so brutal that a two-wheeler around which the dogs hid to save themselves, was dented with the blow of the rod. “I began screaming from my home for him to stop. Later, the man and his friends were trying to take away the dog that was severely injured, in a sack probably to dispose it off, but locals did not allow them to do that,” she said, still disturbed. “I heard one man from the group tell the assaulter to beat the dog till it died,” she said.
Somebody recorded a video of the assault and soon it went viral in animal welfare groups. Locals and volunteers from animal welfare NGOs assembled at the spot and outside Dindoshi police station to register an FIR, while the assaulter had fled by then.
The sister of the complainant said the police were not ready to take the complaint. It took some calls and pressure from animal welfare NGOs to make it happen. Her family had arrived on seeing the video.
“It is rare that in a case of animal cruelty where locals insist that the police register a complaint. Since they don’t register such cases much, many times police are not aware of animal cruelty laws and don’t know how to deal with such crimes,” says ACP Sudhir Kudalkar incharge of the Anti-Corruption Bureau who spoke that night with API BR Darade of Dindoshi police station.
Instead of booking the assaulter, the police had allegedly warned those assembled, of being charged under Section 144 for unlawful assembly and threatened to use force to disperse them. To add to the mess, a woman from the family of the assaulter alleged that she had been molested and wanted a counter-case on some people in the crowd.
Savita Mahajan, founder, Animal Rescue and Care, whose volunteers had been present at the police station said the body of the dog would have been disposed of by the assaulters to escape punishment. She has requested the police to check CCTV cameras in nearby areas.
API Darade could not be reached for comment. DCP of the zone DS Swami said the FIR had been registered in the case, but did not comment on the allegations.