Four men including the secretary of an Andheri-based building were arrested for giving a ransom of ₹5,000 to get rid of the stray dogs in the area. During one such abduction, one dog was smothered and succumbed, whose body was later dumped in the mangroves. All accused were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
According to police, the secretary had paid a ransom of ₹5,000 to three auto-rickshaw drivers to clear the stray dogs from the locality. The accused then were clearing the dog menace and had picked up one of the strays, who was forced in an auto-rickshaw. During the scuffle, one of the accused had unintentionally choked the stray. Panicked with the incident, the accused later dumped it in the mangroves.
A few days later, an animal activist, Tushar Gogia, who fed the strays in the neighborhood, noticed that a number of strays who frequently visited were missing. Gogia searched for the missing dogs and saw a restlessness among strays. It was earlier suspected that the dogs were afraid of the civic vans and officials, but it was learnt that the civic body had not undertaken any drives recently.
A further probe revealed that a building watchman saw the dog being taken away by an auto-rickshaw driver in a bus vehicle, following which he checked the CCTV camera footage. With evidence at disposal, Gogia approached police and lodged a complaint at Versova police station.
Police arrested the four, identified as Navnath building secretary Sunil Jaising and the three rickshaw drivers—Yasin Maniyar (38), Arvind Yadav (24), Raj Singh (23). They were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming animals, common intention and cruelty against animals. They were all produced before the Andheri Court on Monday and were released on bail.