Over 180 dogs have been caught and confined to shelters in IIT Madras since September 2020. At least 57 dogs have died in a span of 13 months in the institution.The deaths on campus have alarmed state government officials and animal rights activists.
A few years ago, IIT Madras, which was once a part of the Guindy National Park, was dealing with another animal rights issue- the deaths of deer and blackbucks on its campus. Activist Antony Rubin had found out through an RTI that 200 deer and 8 blackbucks had died in IIT-M between 2014 and 2016. He went to the National Green Tribunal alleging that cultural events on campus were affecting the wildlife. Rubin also alleged poor waste management on the part of the institute, pointing to the indiscriminate use of plastic. In the past, there have been reports of deer dying after consuming plastic waste.
But IIT-Madras denied these allegations and blamed the deer deaths on the stray dogs on campus. A committee was later formed to monitor the waste disposal and to protect the wildlife on campus. But with IIT-M insisting that the deer and blackbucks were being attacked by the strays, the institute roped in an NGO from Nagercoil - Jeeva Karunya Trust - for the purpose of vaccinating and sterilizing the dogs. Soon over 180 strays were captured and put in cages. Except, these dogs havenâ€™t been released since they were captured in September 2020.
So what is the present fate of these dogs? TNMâ€™s Anna Isaac explains.