5 lawyers for canines, 1 FOR HUMANS
AT a time when the dog menace has assumed alarming proportions and over a dozen fell prey to deadly bites almost everyday in this summer Capital, there’s a single lawyer pleading the case of humans while some five plead canines.
This is true for the ongoing hearings of the PIL against dog menace filed by an NGO. While the petitioner pleading humans is one, those pleading the case of canines are many including the counsels for the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (SPCA), which has been striving for “time consuming and costly sterilization” as the sole solution to the problem.
Even though the people are up in arms against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for giving “dog friendly” statements whenever the bite complaints pour in, nobody has come forward to legally plead the case of victimized humans.
The only voluntary endeavor, which popped up was from Viva, an NGO, which last year filed a PIL against the dog menace.
Since then though the people many times took to streets against the growing population of dogs, nobody moved Court.
HCBA WILLING BUT…
Though admitting that the dog menace was deadly, the High Court Bar Association(HCBA) didn’t come forward to plead the case. Commenting over the issue, noted lawyer and HCBA President Mian Qayoom said it was because nobody came forward with a complaint.
Asked why the HCBA didn’t volunteer to move Court, Qayoom said it could have raised eyebrows. “It could have been seen as some vested interest,” the lawyer told Greater Kashmir.
He however said he would personally plead the case provided people come forward with the complaint of dog menace. “I will contest it, provided somebody comes forward,” he said.
Sometime back, Advocate Mir Syed Latif who was pleading the case on behalf of AWBI and the SPCA withdrew pleading “moral responsibility.”
Latif, a prominent lawyer had confided that he was facing lot of criticism, including that from his family for pleading the case of the dogs that they be sterilized.
And the turning point, Latif said, came some two months back when a 10- year-old boy of Wangnoo family of Lal Bazar was mauled by dogs with over hundred bite marks on his body “prompting” the lawyer to give up the case.
THE STERILIZATION FACTOR
Though the National Conference led government has been pleading for the sterilization as the sole solution to the problem, experts are apprehensive of its benefits saying by the time 40 dogs would be sterilized, 400 more will be born.
Pertinently the SMC aims to sterilize around 40 dogs a day, at the state-of-the-art dog pound at Shuhama that as been constructed at a whopping cost of over Rs one core out the money meant for City development.
THE DEADLY STATISTICS
While the general perception is that over one lakh dogs are on prowl in the City, MOS Home and MLA Amira Kadal Nasir Sogami recently announced that the accurate figure was 91,110.
As about the dogs, they are feared to prove worst this year because there was an unusual surge in the number of dog bites during winters. This year alone, over 1600 cases of bites have been registered at SMHS Hospital run Anti Rabies Clinic(ARC), the sole government facility for administering dog bite cases in the City.
For now the dog bites have broken all previous records with almost 80% increase in the deadly cases within a year. From 4230 cases reported in 2010, the number swelled to 7257 in 2011. The actual figures could be even bigger as this data pertains to cases administered at the ARC in Srinagar alone.
There’s another record about the dog bite cases as most of the cases were Category-3 Bites, considered deadliest.
And people have to pay heavily for the dog bite cases as the government has failed to provide Immunogulobin free to the bite victims and such patients are left with no options but to get the comparatively costly medicine from the open markets, where it costs around Rs 400 to 2500, depending on the brand.
Queries on dog menace are many. One such is that why doesn’t the SMC take action against rabid dogs? The general argument is that if bullets can be fired on humans to maintain law-and-order, why aren’t rabid dogs taken to task?
Though last year the administration has issued shoot-at-sight orders against the rabid lot, the orders were revoked within a day. Questions are being raised even on the revocation of the orders.
But the million dollar question posed by the then Chief Justice FM Ibraheem Kalifullah remains unanswered: Will a dog stop biting after sterilization?
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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