Neighbour witnesses the crime; canine loses vision in his right eye after the attack in Wadgaon Sheri
Inan appalling incident of cruelty against animals that came to light in Wadgaon Sheri, an eight-month-old puppy lost vision in his right eye after he was brutally hit by a man with a brick.
The incident took place on April 26 around 10.30 pm. Swapnil Ranpise, a resident of Shilanand Housing Society, witnessed his neighbour hitting the canine who he used to feed every day.
Narrating the incident, Ranpise said, “My neighbour Manoj Shethre threw a brick at the pup without provocation. The canine was not even barking at him. When I confronted him, he asked me to mind my own business. He also said that the dog had attacked him. But I had witnessed the incident and his claims are absolutely false. When I tried to reprimand him, he said that he will continue doing it and that no one can stop him. The dog lost vision in his right eye and it is disheartening to know what happened to him. These strays rely on human beings for their safety, but such incidents only end up creating conflict with animals.”
Ranpise claimed that he was later attacked by Shethre and his relatives when he was leaving for work. He continued, “After the pup was beaten up, I was leaving for work. Shethre and his relatives then physically assaulted me. I took the dog to the Blue Cross Hospital for treatment. All this while, I was supported by Mohini Sharma, who is an animal activist in the area. She ensured that the pup gets the best treatment and the case is dealt with seriousness.”
An FIR has been lodged against Shethre at the Chandan Nagar police station under section 428 (mischief by killing or maiming animal) of the Indian Penal Code and section 11(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Meanwhile, Shethre, 26, refuted Ranpise’s allegations and said, “I did not intend to hit the pup. But when I left my house to switch off the motor, the dog started barking at me. In fact, he even charged at me due to which I suffered a scratch on my foot. I hit the dog to defend myself and did not mean to hurt him. Also, it was Ranpise who physically assaulted me after the incident.”
Even though the incident took place a week ago, the complainant as well as animal activists faced difficulty in filing an FIR. After multiple attempts, the case was filed on Thursday, May 3.
Nitesh Khare, animal activist and founder of the Society for Animal Safety India, confirmed that people face challenges in reporting animal cruelty cases to the police. Khare said, “Every time an animal cruelty case needs to be reported and the activists approach the cops, they get no help. In fact, the activists are threatened by the police officers. They make us feel like we are the ones committing a crime by fighting for the lives of the innocent animals. We are just coordinating with the law enforcement agencies to get the work done. Since the last two years, we have been given false promises by the senior cops that our voices will be heard. But all our attempts have proved futile. Last year when a constable in Wakad had threatened me for addressing such cases, a statement was released by the police department that strict action will be taken against perpetrators. But nothing has changed yet.”