After several failed attempts, Navi Mumbai resident and animal lover Aditi Lahiri could finally attract attention to an issue that she has long been close to her heart -- animal welfare.
Her sustained efforts paid off when Member of Parliament Maneka Gandhi recenty wrote a letter to the Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner A K Sharma regarding the lack of strict action against those who commit crimes against animals. She also requested the CP to ask every police station in the satellite city to take note of the issue and report figures to the commissioner’s office every month.
Sixty-five-year-old Lahiri, an animal activist herself said that she pursued her cause in a systematic manner. “Through my past experiences I understood that Maneka Gandhi is the most effective person when it comes to animal welfare. Earlier also I had reported to various agencies for help but never got a concrete answer,” said Lahiri, who lives in CBD Belapur. Gandhi reverted within 24 hours and has been following up with the commissioner’s office since then.
Gandhi in her letter also made a reference to the 1960s animal protection law that was passed after the bill was piloted by Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru. Lahiri wrote to Gandhi about various instances of crimes against animals in her vicinity. “Around 30 stray dogs were brutally killed after someone fed them poisonous biscuits. Watching the corpses of these innocent animals was very disheartening.”
Lahiri added, “There have been several cases when the police do not register crimes against animals. The blame game continues where police officials say that crimes against strays comes under the jurisdiction of NMMC.” Another animal lover and New Panvel resident Anu Vijay supported Lahiri’s views. Vijay said, “People need to be sensitised towards animals.”
Top cop speaks
AK Sharma, the police commissioner of Navi Mumbai, confirmed the receipt of the letter. “We have notified all the police stations in the city about the letter we have received and have asked them to be more cautious. Even we are keen on protecting humans and animals so that both can cohabit in a peaceful environment.”