In a gruesome incident, a 65-year-old woman was attacked and partly eaten up by 50 stray dogs on Friday night barely 10 km from the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.
The victim Sheeluamma, died in the Medical College hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Angry relatives and residents of the area have blamed the city authority for her death.
"We have lost all our patience as the authorities are hanging on to some obscure law which says dogs cannot be eliminated. Are we inferior to these dogs," asked a group of angry residents in Pulluvilla.
The incident took place around 9 p.m. in the coastal village Pulluvilla about 30 minutes from the state capital when Sheeluamma went to the seafront to use a toilet there.
Her son witnessed her being torn up by the hungry canines when he came searching for her. He had to dive into the sea to save himself from the dogs.
Earlier, another 50-year-old, Daisy was attacked by a group of dogs in a nearby locality on the seafront.
The stray dog menace has been the subject of a fierce debate for the last few years in Kerala. Frequent cases of children being attacked by dogs had caused public outrage in the state.
In the wake of Sheeluammaâ€™s death, voices calling for the extermination of dangerous stray dogs have risen. A Kerala businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly, who has been persistently protesting against the governmentâ€™s perceived lack of action regarding stray dogs, is demanding that all dangerous dogs should be killed at the earliest.
â€śAll stray dogs in the area should be killed at the earliest. The law enables the government to kill dangerous dogs. At least now we should act,â€ť he told the media.
Kerala health Minister KK Shailaja told journalists inThiruvananthapuram that she personally supports extermination of dangerous stray dogs, but the government was facing legal issues over this measure.
â€śWhen we carried out killings of dangerous stray dogs, we received many warning notices from the centre. So now we have opted sterilisation as an alternative. As per law those who keep dogs at home should have a license. But nobody follows it. Immediate measures will be taken to
sort out these issues,â€ť Minister said