---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 12:25 PM
Subject: Fwd: Visit Report : Heritage City, Gurgaon- From Naina Kapur, reference Payal Sodhi
The Commissioner MCG- Mr. Khuller
The Joint Commission- Mr. Y.S. Gupta
Dec. 17, 2010
This is with reference to my meeting with you today at your office. Below is a report of Mr. Amit Chaudhery (re. Maneka Gandhi/ PFA) regarding the illegal threat to shoot a community dog "Laila" by a resident, Mr. Ajit Mehra who had already been given a legal notice by PFA sometime in end Sept./ early August. Despite the same, with respect to the latest chain of events, there has been clear collusion by Board members in having Laila illegally and arbitrarily removed from Heritage City on December 6th, 2010.
Since July 31, 2010 residents have continued to assert the legal right of "Laila" as a protected animal to reside within the Community before the Board as well as the Estate Manager (a full record of this is hereby attached for your reference). On August 3, 2010, residents specifically requested the Board (through its President, Mr. Atul Batra and Estate Manager, Mr. H. Singh), to
"i. To withdraw any order/demand/instruction or other communication in any form whatsoever for the removal of Laila from the HERWA premises by any person within, or otherwise inducted into, the premises for such removal
ii. Issue a declaration or other communication to all residents endorsing the legal position vide stray dogs and Laila in particular.
iii. Provide an undertaking to ensure that the care and well being of Laila will be maintained and promoted within the HERWA compound."
No response has been forthcoming on this request.
The Board, including it's Estate Manger, Mr. H Singh, was provided with a number of resident contacts to address any issue regarding Laila. No such contact was ever made and an MCG animal ambulance (Friendicose) with license number HR 55 9309 was allowed to enter the premises and illegally remove Laila with ropes in front of witnesses. Mr. H. Singh, Heritage Security and the Board members are all in denial of such a vehicle having entered the premises. Evidence on record is now with lawyer that entry of such a vehicle was allowed and has been recorded at the Entry gate.
Luckily Laila was found by residents and is currently in safe custody. However, none of the Board members have acknowledged or undertaken any action consistent with the Heritage City Resident Welfare Association's legal obligations under the law. In fact, Mr. H. Singh, Estate manager has been harassing supporting residents including myself (and sending persons to my home) to recover evidence of the aforesaid Ambulance's entry into Heritage on December 6, 2010. Given the intimidating tactics being undertaken, the report of Mr. Amit Chaudhery (PFA, Below) and the failure of the Board through it's President (Mr. Atul Batra) and Secretary (Mr. Mandeep Lamba), to take any responsible action regarding the legal right of the Laila to reside in this colony, I am requesting your good offices to kindly take appropriate action as per law.
Contact Names and Addresses-
Heritage Residents Welfare Association (HERWA)
Heritage City Complex
Office Tel- 0124-5015213 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0124-5015213 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 5015214
Mr. Atul Batra (Personal residence- block 21, flat 1108 heritage city complex, gurgaon-122002
Mr. Mandeep S. Lamba (Personal residence- block 45 flat 301 heritage citycomplex, gurgaon-122002
Mr. H. Singh
Heritage City Complex
Office- 0124-5015213 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0124-5015213 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Ajit Mehra (Resident)- who threatened to shoot the “Laila”
-Block 23 Flat 601- Heritage City Complex, MG Road. Gurgaon 122-002
Resident, Heritage City
As desired, I visited Heritage City, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2010 for a meeting with the local RWA (called HERWA) and the complainants. Detailed below is my estimation of the situation and the recommended path forward :
Background & Progression of Events
1.There is only one steralized, vaccinated, and well adjusted dog called Laila, resident since 4 years in the complex. Since the last few months several different residents called PFA / me on occasion to complain of threats by hostile residents and HERWA management to have Laila removed. On occasion hostile residents threatened to kill the dog, with the most recent reported incident of a Mr. Ajit Mehra threatening to shoot her. We have on record communicated the laws to the HERWA president (Mr. Atul Batra) and separately to Mr. Mehra through PFA on previous occasions. These communications drew no response. Nor did the call to caution have any impact.
2.The meeting started on a negative note and upon my walking out, Mr. Batra intervened and we had a 'meeting' in the open. No plausible solution /resolution was forthcoming because of rigid positions. The HERWA is clearly unwilling to arrive at a compromise / negotiated solution according to law. A member of the RWA governing body, Mr. Mandeep Singh Lamba insisted that the HERWA would acquire a legal opinion, basis which, "the fate of Laila would be decided". Mr. Batra said December 20th as the date by which they would socialize the "legal opinion".
3.M/s Batra and Lamba adopted a position of denial of responsibility with regards to Mr. Mehra's reported threat to shoot the dog (this has serious implications under animal welfare laws and the Arms Act), or the universal and clearly tutored denial by the Estate Manager as well as the Security Staff of any vehicle entering the colony to capture the dog.The HERWA officeholders were clearly pursuing a selective, pre meditated agenda of intolerance and forciable removal of the dog merely because in their misguided opinion, an Indian dog has no business to be in the locality. And now the innocent animal is being used as a pawn in people's personal disputes. To butress their 'case' they amplified 'complaints' of residents against Laila while being very obviously silent on the large cross-section of people who are in favour of Laila and/or are neutral and law abiding.
4.The well known animal behaviourist, Mr. Rajesh Bhatt has certified the dog as "peaceful, very well tempered and safe". This has been seconded by a reputed vet at PFA Gurgaon. In addition, it is a well known fact that feral animals are by nature timid and well socialized. They DO NOT attack unless grossly provoked or threatened.
5.A false bogey is being created by intolerant people. This is the "new middle class" which is intolerant of anything and everything and increasingly aggressive.
Assesment & Recommendations
1.M/s Batra and Lamba are trying to interpret explicit provisions of the law through an entirely questionable process of "legal opinion". Such opinions hold no water and can be countered ad nauseum. This is an attempt to steamroll their agenda of dislocating a well adjusted community dog, by manufacturing loaded "legal opinions" and lobbying other resident groups to pass strictures.
2.It has been demonstrated by HERWA and the statements/position adopted on December 11 that they are in open contempt and denial of the laws, want to bully their way through and adopted a shrewd posture by selectively pretending to ignorance/denying fact.
3.Given the above, the credibility of HERWA functionaries cannot be taken for granted.
4.Reference my discussions with you and Ms Anjali Sharma of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) as well as Ms Payal Sodhi at Chandigarh. M/s Lamba, Mehra, Batra should be put on notice and proceeded against under violation and contempt of :
-The Constitution of India, Article 51 (a)
-Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960)
-Indian Penal Code, Sections 428, 429
In addition, the Supreme Court of India's ruling (People For the Eliminatiuon of Stray Dogs Vs the AWBI, 2009), AWBI guidelines and directives of the Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon. The indefinite and continued safety of the community dog, Laila vests solely with these individuals, directly and indirectly.
They must be proceeded against individually on multiple counts on the above and/or additional relevant sections of the law unless they are ameaneble to a humane and law abiding solution, which I shall be happy to broker. I am copying the Hon'ble Minister for Environment & Forests, Mr. Ramesh's office as record.
(+91.98.1170.3501 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +91.98.1170.3501 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Journalist, Naturalist & Activist
President, People For Animals-Gurgaon
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Government of India
Nominee to IAECs