An eight-year-old boy was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs near Sankarankoil in Tirunelveli district on Thursday.
According to the police, the boy, S Santhosh is a student at a primary school in Rengasamuthiram village around 20 kilometres from Sankarankoil in Tirunelveli district. After school hours, he used to return home around 4.30 pm and have snacks before setting out to play in the school grounds till 6 pm. On Thursday, Santhosh had come home and had tea, and returned to the school to play. However, he did not return even after the clock struck 7 pm. This prompted his parents and neighbours to launch a search for him.
“It was the neighbours who bumped into a pack of dogs tearing into an unconscious boy in the middle of a field nearby. They chased the dogs and called a doctor from the village to check on him. But the doctor told them that the boy had already died and that he had bite marks all over his body including in his neck,” a police officer said. The body was given to the family after confirming that Santhosh died due to dog bite. Santhosh was the last of the three children of Sethupathi who lives in Rengasamuthiram village.
The police officer also told TNM that the villagers headed towards the field while searching for the boy after hearing the dogs howl in a peculiar way. “It is the mating season and at first the villagers thought the howling was normal. But only after a few minutes that they realised that the howling was strange and decided to check the source of the noise,” he added. He also added that the villagers had not complained about stray dog menace before this incident.
The police registered a case of unnatural death under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code and are investigating the case.