More than 150 animal activists and lovers gather to condemn brutal rape and murder of stray dog Bindu
This July, eight men in Haryana’s Mewat district gang-raped a seven-year-old pregnant goat. The goat died even as the State police launched a manhunt to nab the culprits and filed a case against them under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 as well as the colonial-era Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that outlaws bestiality.
Closer home, on August 16, Premshankar Rai, a 40-year-old night watchman working in a Kandivali housing society, inserted a rod into a stray dog Bindu’s vagina and gouged out her entrails while her seven puppies lay beside her.
Nisha Jain, who fed Bindu regularly recounted her story. “When Bindu gave birth, I used to go feed her four times. She was like my daughter. When she came to me after the incident, 80% of her intestines were hanging out. I was shocked at the blood. But I got a lot of support from the society and today, I got all seven puppies adopted.
In September, three Mumbai friends decided enough is enough and it was time to do something. The outcome was visible at Bandra’s Carter Road on Sunday evening, where over 150 people dressed in black, holding placards – to speak up for those who can’t.
Organised by independent animal activists and feeders Vijay Mohanani from Peddar Road, Vicky D’Silva from Chembur and Poonam Samptani fromWorli, the peaceful protest sought tough action against the perpetrators of such crimes.
“We held the gathering so people can stand up and realise that animals are tortured in supposedly the safest city in the country. Also, not to trouble or discourage or assault animal feeders as they are helping society by feeding strays,” said Mr. Mohanani.
Speakers came up on a small stage to recount their experiences and the need for stricter laws to both penalise animal abusers and prevent cruelty. One of the attendees, advocate Poonam Khanna said she would file a writ petition with the high court. “We will also get Mr. Ratan Tata on board to help us take this forward,” she said. After recounting the Haryana goat’s plight, Meet Ashar, emergency response co-ordinator for PETA India, reminded the audience that Bindu’s abuser Rai, is roaming scot-free without paying his fine of ₹3,000. “Today it’s a dog, tomorrow it will be a child,” he said adding that Rai would also be charged under Section 377 which criminalises bestiality.
In a bid to appeal to legislative bodies, the speakers also talked about the creation of vote banks to pressurise politicians to amend laws; explaining how animal lovers could select the NOTA (none of the above) option in the next elections if political parties fail to amend the 1960 law.
Fizzah Shah of the NGO In Defence of Animals stressed that is humans who have encroached on the space of strays due to over population. “The animals don’t get food or shelter and fall prey to perverted people,” she said citing Article 51 (g) which is to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures. “It is a fundamental right of every human being to feed strays on the roads and it is a fundamental right of all living beings to live in dignity.”
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