Bringing to light yet another instance of cruelty to the city’s strays, the MHB police station has registered an FIR against five members of a housing society in Dahisar (West) for allegedly dumping five puppies in a gutter. After the police’s intervention, three of the puppies were found, of which two were seriously injured.
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One of the injured puppies and (right) the dog that gave birth to the puppies near Pleasant Park Society in Dahisar. Pic/Sharad Vegda
The complaint was made by members of the NGO PAWA (Peace for Animals Welfare Association). On Wednesday night, the NGO’s president, Salim Charania received a call from two animal welfare officers from the organisation — Shivani Sharma and Pooja Bhandari. They had received a tip-off that a group of men in Pleasant Park society had loaded five puppies into a van to abandon them at an unknown location.
Salim reached the housing society at 1.30 am. He overheard a group talking about the puppies and secretly took a video of their conversation. Armed with the video, Salim approached the MHB police station and told Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) T Gavit about the cruelty.
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Gavit immediately sent another inspector with Salim to Pleasant Park. By then, the residents had gathered and as soon as Salim arrived, they started arguing with him and the police inspector. Salim said that he would file an FIR against the culprits if they did not bring the puppies back.
Salim looked for the puppies, but his efforts bore no fruit. At 5 am, he lodged an FIR against the secretary of Pleasant Park society Rajesh Oza, the society watchman and three other society members.
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The five accused were booked under Sections 429 (killing or maiming animals) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, and Sections 11 (a), (d) and (i) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act. Senior Police Inspector Subhash Chauhan said, “On the basis of the complaint, we have registered an FIR against the society secretary and a few committee members, but no arrest has been made so far.”
Once the residents had been informed about the FIR, they confessed to their crime and brought three puppies back from the gutter they had been dumped in. One of the pups has a broken jaw, while another has a fractured hind leg. Salim and Shivani are taking care of them. The PAWA team has submitted their medical certificates and X-Ray reports to the police.
Spat with MLA
On Thursday evening, when Salim went to the police station again, he met BJP MLA for Dahisar, Manisha Ashok Chaudhary, who had arrived there to support the accused. Salim alleged that the MLA began to abuse him before they had even been introduced.
“When I asked her to introduce herself, she said ‘Main Dahisar ki malkin hoon’ (I am the owner of Dahisar). She and her supporters said they would file a case against me and dump all stray dogs at my house,” alleged Salim. A senior inspector had intervened and sorted the matter between the two parties.
Speaking to mid-day, Manisha Chaudhary said, “It is a matter of appreciation if the NGO is working for the betterment of animals, but these people are misusing the PCA Act. Many animals die on the road everyday, why aren’t these NGOs looking after them? Threatening to jail these residents is wrong, and is not something an animal rights NGO should do.”
The other side
Society secretary Rajesh Oza said, “The allegations being made against us by the NGO are false and baseless. We would have shown everyone the CCTV footage but the cameras have been non-functional for the last four days because of renovation work in the society. The puppies were being shooed away because several residents were scared of them. We have not done anything wrong; the NGO is trying to extort money from us.”