-Paridhi Gupta, Mehroo Batra
Kill a dog, smash its head. Watch the blood trickle in your room. Hear the helpless animals wordless scream of agony. Unreal, inhuman, absolutely unacceptable? What about compensation for it: a little money?
On Tuesday, July 8; in the wee hours of morning, a female dog was beaten to death by a JNU student and his two friends, in his hostel room. Yoronso, the accused is a 30-year old from Nagaland who is about to complete his PhD in Political Science. The occupants of Kaveri hostel were woken up by the animalâ€™s wails around 2AM. On demanding, Yoronso opened the door to his room only to reveal the dead stray dog lying in a pool of blood, with its head smashed.
In his letter of apology to the authorities, Yoronso asserts that the reason for this shameful act was merely â€˜self-defenseâ€™. He claims that the dog had entered his room and when he tried to get it out, it attacked him. In order to penalize Yoronso, he was expelled from the hostel (which he was supposed to leave anyway) and asked to pay a fine of Rs.2,000/-
Meanwhile, animal rights practitioners have moved into campus with some calling JNU a â€œlawless slaughterhouseâ€?. Lawyer Anjali Sharma of the Citizens for Animals â€” an association of animal sympathizers â€” said, â€œWhat happened in JNU is an offence under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code.â€? She added the police are also empowered to arrest such offenders without warrants.
Till when can these animal rights organizations keep fighting? Nothing can be fruitful without the police and facultyâ€™s co-operation. Nobody in their right minds would not be be nauseated at the sight of such a grotesque incident. But our police has wisely chosen to sit back with their arms crossed. If you think that Yoronso is at fault, well then our police who thinks that killing a dog is worth just Rs.2000 is not much better.
The solution to this problem does not lie in penalty and eviction. An abashed act like this one needs to be treated with more seriousness. It has to be made clear that animal rights are a major issue.
An immediate attempt has to be made to gather people to stand up for this cause. Seema Kaemra of the Circle of Animal Lovers (CAL), a Delhi-based animal rights group, said that a mass protest against such incidents that would sensitize people is the call of the day.
“Merely taking action against the student or complaining to the police is not the solution. Informing people about the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and sensitizing them to a more humane behavior towards animals is what is required.In this case, a campaign with the JNU authorities and with help from the media is what would be more fruitful in the long run,” Kaemra said.
But the question that we would like to ask our readers are, do they care enough?