Video of two incidents of dogs being beaten up in Noida and Greater Noida
Two days later, another incident took place in Greater Noida. A community dog was allegedly mercilessly beaten by security guards at the AWHO Township - an upscale society in Gurjinder Vihar. A cab driver on his way to the airport witnessed the incident, and he alerted the apartment residents. We accessed the CCTV footage of the incident that showed the brutality of the crime.
“The incident occurred on March 4. The police picked up some guards who did this. But then the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of the society intervened and requested the cops to let the guards go. Finally, we learned that an FIR was registered in the case, but no one was named in the FIR. I don’t think there will be any action in this case beyond this,” says Parth Semwal, an advocate whose clients were the dog's caregivers.
Advocate and animal rights expert Vishal Gautam speaks to The Probe’s Pavitra Utgikar on the state of animal rights in India.
The instances of man-animal conflict in Delhi-NCR have seen a sudden spike recently, says Kaveri Rana Bharadwaj. Kaveri, known as the “dog mother” of Greater Noida, co-founded the Sophie Memorial Animal Relief Trust along with her husband. She also opened the first animal shelter in the city called the SMART Sanctuary. When Kaveri went to the AWHO Township to enquire about the incident, she said she was abused and harassed by some residents.
Kaveri notes that in most cases related to violence against animals, FIRs don’t get registered quickly, and even if they do, the FIRs don’t name the accused persons. She states that another dog has gone missing since the last incident at AWHO, and the RWA of the apartment is contemplating action against dog feeders.
Commander Sukumar Bhaskar, a society resident, asserts that the community dogs in the society have started disappearing. “We had 51 dogs by our last count, and these cannot be called stray dogs. They are community dogs. But because of the stand of the RWA, in the last few days, a dog van has been coming, and they are taking away these dogs. Here people have a history of being cruel to dogs. They keep talking about shooting and killing dogs because they believe this is a territory where only humans should live.”
Dog lovers in the society claim that such RWA notices are arbitrary and unlawful. They maintain that the police were not responsive and did not name the guards who beat up the dog on March 4. The Probe spoke to the case’s Investigating Officer (IO) Sunny Kumar, who said there is no provision to arrest anyone in such a case and confirmed to us that no arrests have been made so far.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 was brought in to prevent the infliction of pain and suffering on animals. Though the government has proposed changes to this archaic law, the existing six-decade-old law has not been amended. According to Vishal, India is yet to come up with strong regulations to promote the welfare of animals. “We are still following the same old rules. For instance, an amendment was due to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, but so far, that has not been done. The same old law is being followed to this date. The accused has to pay either 50 rupees or 100 rupees, and then it is over, and the accused usually gets bail. The police also do not take these cases seriously. Even FIRs don’t get registered, and most often, the FIRs get registered only when animal rights activists create a ruckus.”