Anjali Sharma - 9810011235
Javed Iqbal Shah - 9810002976
Rishi Dev - 9868881566
( JAVED IQBAL SHAH )
Political Analyst & Writer
V.P House Rafi Marg New Delhi 110 001
I am an avid animal lover. In the run up to the preparations for the CWG however and under the pretext of the city’s “clean-up,” a massive wave of cruelty and mindless, inhuman dislocation of Delhi ’s stray dogs is currently underway by civic agencies like the MCD and the NDMC. All this in a despondent bid to conjure a surreal and jingoistic image of the city just for a few days of the much maligned and talked about event we have come to know as the CWG. Rukmini Sekhar a passionate animal lover and activist says we must bring out the stark facts so that the world knows what kind of mindset is at work beneath the facade of all the conjured and fake streetscaping. In the words of Anjali Sharma, lawyer and animal rights activist, “In order to pretend that we are that which we are not, it is criminal for the agencies to jeopardize and put into quandary Delhi's animal birth control and rabies control endeavor.” This also inspite of the fact that quite a few NGOs have and are already working to help the authorities resolve the situation by taking temporary custody of the animals for their eventual restoration into their original habitat?
Reports from many respected and well-known people, of missing dogs, and new and strange dogs appearing in territories on the outskirts of Delhi abound of late, and many persons are willing to vouch that MCD vehicles are picking up even sterilized dogs, and speeding them away to undisclosed destinations. Expectedly, the MCD and NDMC denied any involvement in the episode.
On 25 September 2010 as I was traveling from Oberoi Hotel towards Janpath I saw an NDMC catching Van (last digits of its registration No 0287 marked NDMC) carrying around two dozen dogs roaming around an intersection near the Andhra Pradesh Bhawan at 1 Ashok Road. I gesticulated to the driver and the staff to stop so that I could ascertain where the dogs were being taken. Sensing inquisition the van sped away to an undisclosed location suspiciously as I trailed behind in the congested traffic. I also had occasion to see the same van ferry dogs from near the Le Meridien Hotel at Janpath about a week prior to this incident. On confronting the NDMC staff then I was told by a man named Shukar Chand that the dogs were being taken for Animal Birth Control. In the intervening period, since complaints had been received on the matter I chose to challenge and follow the Van on 25 Sept when it gave me the slip. Sunday being a holiday I called up the Veterinary incharge of NDMC one Dr Dinesh Yadav (98112597on 27 Sept Monday to ask what was happening. Initially he declined to accept that any such lifting had taken place on 25 Sep. When I confronted him with the details and the contention of the NGOs about not having taken in any such dogs on that day he said he would call back later after cross-checking with Shukar Chand. He got back around an hour later. Dr. Dinesh Yadav told me that the dogs had indeed been picked up by NDMC, from Talkatora Road and stadium but since they had not co-ordinated with FRIENDICOES, (NGO taking custody of the CWG dogs) the dogs were dropped back in the evening after being 'carried around' in the NDMC vehicle all day long ! Imagine the sheer cruelty. The fact is that the theory of their being dropped back became all the more suspicious and looked a fabrication for sure when Dr Dinesh dished out varying and contradictory versions of the same episode to other animal rights activists like Hiranmay Karlekar and Amit Chaudhery who called him on this among others. Anjali Sharma corroborates to say “that in the last approximately 15 days, 7 to 8 completely new and rather traumatized dogs have surfaced in the Sector 15A of Noida where she lives. At least one security guard posted at one of the gates to the Sector claims he’d seen an ‘official looking’ vehicle dump the dogs in the vicinity forcing her to veer around to the wide-spread belief that MCD / NDMC vehicles are indeed displacing dogs – in a desperate bid perhaps, to look more “beautiful” than we actually are. Additionally, they are inconveniencing the residents of the areas where the poor hapless animals are being dumped. Worst of all, they are subjecting the animals to mindless, senseless cruelty, traumatizing them, and probably rendering them hostile to humans eventually. In fact, it is precisely as a result of this sort of unintelligent and short-sighted conduct that dog bites and other dog related 'nuisance' occurs.”
Clearly the NDMC and MCD are engaged in a clandestine, surreptitious and inhuman operation of capture and forcible dislocation of these dogs which is not only unethical and barbaric but a clear transgression of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Hon’ble Delhi High Court orders in this behalf. Government and its agencies are mandated to uphold the rule of law, than break it with impunity. The CWG planning was never the job of the common man much less these harassed, tormented and hunted dogs. If the authorities accomplished least of what they set out to achieve most the sordid reasons lie elsewhere and are very well known by now. There is no moral or legal sanction for exercising patent and heart-rending violence on the canines by extra-constitutional means. CWG apart from being the scandal it is - is nothing but a sham if it gives such a license to MCD and NDMC to abuse and flout the law of the land with impunity. In a world beset with violence and bestiality surely the survival of the fittest doesn't have to come at the inhuman cost of developing savagely ungentle attributes or regressing to barbaric methods of yore. We collectively condemn this atrocity perpetrated under the guise of the CWG and appeal to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Environment Minister and the Chief Minsiter to step in immediately and contribute actively to forestall and thwart this decadent cruelty.
( JAVED IQBAL SHAH )
FOR & ON BEHALF OF THE ANIMAL ACTIVISTS & SYMPATHIZERS OF DELHI