Hema Nayi, 47, a resident of Kandivli, has been feeding street dogs for years. But, her altruistic act has forced her to approach the court against the society members who allegedly verbally and physically abuse Nayi and her 84-year-old mother, Kantaben, because of it. But, despite repeated pleas, the Kandivli police refused to file an FIR, except an NC, she says.

Hema Nayi and her mother, Kantaben, feed strays in Kandivli. Pic/Falguni Agrawal
Hema Nayi and her mother, Kantaben, feed strays in Kandivli. Pic/Falguni Agrawal

Nayi resides with her mother in Shree Krishna CHS in Kandivli West, and has been feeding the area's stray dogs for many years. It turned into a bone of contention when a few members threatened her for feeding the dogs inside the compound. Since then, Nayi has been feeding them in the night, away from the premises. However, on September 3, when she went out to feed the dogs at 12.30 am, a few residents followed her and apparently started abusing her. She rushed to the police station to file a complaint, but they refused to entertain her and asked her to feed a kilometre away. "There is no rule that says a resident has to feed dogs a kilometre away, yet I have been feeding them at a safe distance from the premises. Despite this, they refused to file a complaint," she said.

The following day saw a repeat of the incident. "One of them took away my phone and started deleting my records, while the rest held my hands so that I couldn't take away my phone. They also pushed my mother, who injured her hand," she says. When she reached the police station to file a complaint, the cops asked for a medical certificate. Following which she went to the Ambedkar Hospital. "I wanted to file an FIR but they just gave me an NC. They asked me to approach the court and seek permission for the arrest," she said. She has now filed an application at the Borivli Court for justice.

The society's secretary, Ravi Nayakar, said, "The feeding has turned into a major problem because the dogs bite the residents and keep following her inside the society. So, she was asked to stop feeding." When asked if she was beaten, he said, "I wasn't present there so won't be able to comment on it. But, there might have been a quarrel among the women regarding the issue as the residents had given her many warnings. We are trying to settle the issue amicably," he said.

NG Rathod, the police inspector who is the investigation officer, said that they are investigating the matter. "We have recorded statements of the residents who apologised and promised not to repeat it. We have also checked the CCTV footage, but couldn't find much evidence," said Rathod.