Where do we animals go?

| | New Delhi
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Where do we animals go?

Thursday, 29 February 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

A section of animal lovers has sought a fair, impartial and detailed inquiry into the tragic incident of fatality of a 16 months baby girl that occurred in the service lane behind Tughlaq Lane in the Lutyens’ Zone early this week. While it has been alleged that the baby was mauled leading to her death either by stray dogs or a pet Pitbull, the dog lovers have claimed that the infant died in mysterious circumstances which needs to be investigated.

One of the co-signatory of the appeal, Geeta Seshamani, Founder, Friendicoes and Founder, Wildlife SOS has rued over the fact that every media story has unequivocally blamed the tragedy on the community dogs and as a result of this hate-mongering, two dogs of the area have already been bludgeoned to death in cold blood.

On February 24 late afternoon, the baby girl was found gravely injured by her family who rushed her to Safdarjung hospital for treatment at 5 pm where she succumbed to her injuries at 7:15 pm.

The police was informed about the incident at 6:24 pm and reached Safdarjung Hospital to meet the family.

The first police officer to reach the hospital has recorded that he found no eye-witnesses to the incident amongst the family. He has further recorded that upon returning to the site of the incident, he found no eye-witnesses amongst the crowd of residents, onlookers, visitors and others who were present there.

“In the past there have been several instances where community dogs and feeders have been falsely accused. Since this is a high security area and monitored extensively by CCTV cameras, along with heavy police presence, it is only reasonable to expect that irrefutable evidence can and must be found and made public at the earliest,” said a joint appeal signed by Anjali Gopalan (Member, Animal Welfare Board of India and Founder, All Creatures Great and Small), Ambika Shukla (Trustee, People for Animals), Shernaz Italia and Freny Kodaiji (Trustees, DogMatters), Percival Billimoria (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court).

According to local resident and canine feeder, Kavita Rai and Tilak Nanda, the dhobi ghat where the child resided with her extended family is a gated compound. No community dogs had access to this compound. The dogs lived in the park behind the dhobi ghat which is separated by a compound wall.

There is also a Pitbull who lives in the dhobi ghat with the child’s family and is mostly kept tied up.  As a result of being kept constantly chained, the Pitbull is naturally unfriendly and there have been at least two incidents in the recent past that confirm this and now after the latest incident even the Pitbull is missing.

“Why is nobody investigating the role of the Pitbull, if any, in the tragic death of this child? Was the child left alone at any point during that day with the Pitbull? Since the community dogs cannot enter the compound, then it has to be that the child was outside the compound for such an attack to take place. How did this child get outside the compound,” all the signatories said in a Press note.  

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