Builder, Flat Owners Booked Over Stray Killing In Noida
On midnight of March 28, some security guards of Supertech Cape Town project in Noida Sector 74 allegedly beat a female stray dog to death, on the direction four residents. According to residents, several cases of dog attacks had been witnessed in the housing society in the past. After an animal rights’ group approached the police, an FIR (first information report) has been lodged against the builder, the four residents and the security agency under Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act, 1960.
Let us first look at what kind of punishment the accused would suffer in case their guilt is proven.
Section 429 of the IPC that deals with "mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of Rs 50, says: "Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any other animal of the value of Rs 50 or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both."
Now, let us see clearly what constitutes animal cruelty?
Section 11 of the other law talks in detail about what constitutes cruelty. While beating, kicking and causing pain to an animal is certainly an offence, chaining and caging them for long periods is also a punishable offence. Not providing them with enough food would amount to similar kind of offence, and so would abandoning them. Trying to sell an ill animal is also an offence.
Now, let us look at the gravity of the problem.
Over 20,000 people die of rabies in India every year. In 2015, Global Alliance for Rabies Control reported that India accounted for 35 per cent of human rabies deaths, more than any other country. According to estimates by the United Nations, about 15,000 people are bitten, usually by dogs, in India each year.
In 2016, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court (SC) that more people died owing to dog attacks in Indian's financial capital in 20 years than the twin terror attacks of 1993 and 2008.
Private estimates show while there are over 30 million stray dogs in India, their killing has been banned since 2001.
What can you do?
It is the responsibility of civic bodies of your areas to deal with stay menace. As a result of this, civic bodies have been launching drives to sterlise stay animals. However, the problem still persists. In January this year, for instance, people from as many as 20 housing societies staged a protest in the office of the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation, complaining of dog attack cases were on the rise in the city, demanding further action from the body. There are 50,000 stray dogs in the city. Unable to find a solution to their problems, residents of Noida have been staging similar protests at the Noida Authority Office. Noida has an estimated 13,600 stray dogs. The state of affairs is much worse in national capital Delhi, which is home to 400,000 stray dogs.
According to the three municipal bodies in Delhi, about 34,039 cases of dog bite were reported till May 31 this year. According to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, that part of the national capital would see the population of stray dog decline by 80 per cent in the coming six years. The civic body recently launched sterilisation drive to rid the area, one of the worst affected in Delhi, of the problem.