Vadgaon Sheri : High Court asks Pune police to assist PMC in relocating captured stray dogs from Bramha Suncity

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The Bombay High Court on April 24 has directed Pune police to assist Pune Municipal Corporation reintroduce the stray dogs that were captured from the Bramha Suncity society in Vadgaonsheri and relocate in the same vicinity. The HC issued directions after which PMC informed the court that a few members of the society were posing hurdles in releasing the dogs as per the Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs).

The HC has held the society to abide by the rules as well as the HC ruling towards care, maintenance, and the society cannot obstruct releasing the dogs. The court a division bench of Justice Gautam S Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale heard the petition filed by animal activist Vineeta Tandon, who referred to the incident that took place on February 7 at a housing society in Vadgaonsheri area in Pune where a domestic workers son was allegedly bitten by a dog.

Following the incident, over 50 stray dogs from the vicinity were shifte three animal shelters which are looked after by PMC for the last two months.

In the petition filed by Vineeta, she said, “Brahma Suncity society residents had been cruel to dogs and been harassing feeders. FIRs had been filed by police in the past. They made several attempts to relocate the dogs and even drugged them. PMC violated the Animal Birth Control rules in broad daylight which is punishable under Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. There was no proof of the bite. Panic was created by residents and police watched and did nothing to control a mob of 100 residents armed with cricket bats and metal rods in presence of ex PMC corporator. It was a clear conspiracy. Yerwada police refused protection to feeders and sided with society breaking the law.”

The plea also seeks directions to the state government and PMC to release the dogs in the same vicinity from where they were picked up. The petition also seeks direction to the state government to investigate the dog bite incidents in Pune city and submit a report. The matter when heard on March 15 by justice Gautam Patel observed that the grievances mentioned in the plea were clearly seen as PIL.

A resident of the society, Nagen, who is leading the case on behalf of the society in the High Court, stated, “It is appreciable that animal welfare has been brought up. But how is the welfare of homeless dogs being considered when 50 of them are being forced into private gated premises where they have already attacked residents? Shouldn’t they be sheltered and looked after instead of being forced into a society ? And what about citizens, the human life? Why are we ignored? High Court passed the interim judgment without hearing our side of the story or the proposal by the Animal welfare committee formed by the AWBI to resolve human animal conflicts. There have been too many bite cases that have happened in society in the last few years. The ABC rules prohibit the removal of stray dogs even if they kill a citizen. Where is the law if dogs kill kids, old age helpless humans ? Who owns the responsibility of these deaths? VIPs get Z plus security, and a helpless common man can not even defend himself with a Lathi/Danda/Stick. Dogs can scare us but we can not shoo them away. What should we do when a dog charges us to bite or scare, offer ourselves to them without defending with Lathi ? ”

He added, “There were only a few dogs about one decade ago, how have they multiplied to a number of 70? It means the actions taken by the civic body are doubtful. Why is the number just going up in the area every year. Why are outsiders being allowed to take a charge of our society in such cases, what public interest do they have into our society?. The residents have had a horrific time in the last few years. We do have the right to live in a peaceful and safe environment where we can freely walk, kids can play for which we have paid from our hard earned money. Are we asking too much ?”

In reply to the case filed, PMC‘s advocate Manisha Jagtap stated that the attempt to reintroduce dogs to their original place has been restricted by the local citizens (society residents). The court has asked the Pune police to assist PMC in relocating the stray dogs back to their original place and society cannot obstruct the same.

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