Former TN cop assaults animal activist who questioned mistreatment of dogs

The incident took place on March 4, when Sai Vignesh saw municipality officials rounding up dogs, tying their mouths and putting them in a garbage truck.
Dogs in a truck
Dogs in a truck
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The Tiruvallur Police on March 4, 2021, arrested a former police official and his son for allegedly assaulting a 20-year-old animal rights activist who was questioning the mistreatment of stray dogs on his street. The accused – Elanchezhian and his son Aravindaselvan – allegedly also verbally abused Sai Vignesh, who runs the Almighty Animal Care Sanctuary, and his father, and threatened him with dire consequences if he tried to stop the municipality workers from rounding up and relocating the stray dogs there.

Around 8.30 am on March 4, Sai Vignesh was startled to hear cries of dogs on his street. When he went out, he says he found municipal corporation workers catching stray dogs using a pole that chokes the animal if it tries to run away, and then tying the rope around the animals’ mouths before dumping them in a garbage truck. “This was shocking for me because I had gotten all the stray dogs on my street sterilized, so the officials had no reason to catch them,” Vignesh tells TNM.

When the officials tried to justify their actions saying they were relocating the dogs, Vignesh called the police. “After I told the municipality officials that the police were on their way, they said they would release the dogs. In the meantime, Elanchezhian and his son Aravindaselvan, who also live on our street came out and started abusing me. It seems that they were the ones who complained for the dogs to be relocated. They used obscene language with me, and threatened me with dire consequences,” Vignesh alleges.

He adds that his father came out hearing the commotion, and the accused duo got violent. “They hit me on my face and head, and when my father tried to stop them, they pushed him to the ground too.”

This went on for a couple of minutes till the police arrived. Vignesh says that the police arrested the accused duo, who got conditional bail last Saturday. An FIR has been registered and they have been booked under section 294(b) (whoever sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.  

Under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, street dogs should be sterilized, vaccinated and then released in the same area from where they were taken. Relocation of stray dogs is not allowed under these rules as well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.  

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