'It’s like human lives don’t matter. I support the killing of stray dogs'

When a bunch of people who want stray dogs culled came together at Kochi
news Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 21:53

A huge crowd gathered at Kochi Marine Drive on Sunday to cheer industrialist and philanthropist Kochouseph Chittilappilly who started a 24-hour hunger strike on Sunday, demanding a ‘stray dog free’ Kerala.

Though Chittilappilly, who has been at the receiving end of much criticism, was careful not to advocate the culling of dogs directly, a large chunk of his audience were in support of culling stray dogs, all stray dogs.

A controversial outfit called the ‘Stray dog Eradication Committee’ was one of main groups backing the fast. Few weeks ago, they had landed in soup after announcing Rs 500 reward to those who culled stary dogs. A few women organizations too were present at the event.

What brought these people together?

Latha, 28, a lottery seller is partially paralysed on her right leg, apparently after a dog bit her. “Eight months ago, when I was going back home after work, I was bitten by a dog.  It was so bad that I became unconscious and after that I did not walk again.”

She said it loudly to public in the inaugural function of the fast, while adding, “Dogs need to be controlled, so I came here to express my solidarity.”

There were people from different districts of Kerala who shared the issue they have faced with stray dogs on the streets..

Mohammed Arif from Malappuram told The News Minute that he had an accident on his bike after being chased by stray dogs and was bedridden for three months.

“It’s like human lives don’t matter. I support the killing of stray dogs.  People are not worried about killing goats, buffaloes and hens, then why are they fighting for dogs,” he asked.

The audience also included a huge number of children from some schools and Jana Jana Seva Shishubhavan.

Eight year old Anjana , a resident of Jana Seva Shishubhavan, Ernakulam did not have a clear idea on why she was attending this function.  But when asked about the stray dog menace, she said, “I was not bitten by a dog, but I am scared of them, I see a lot of them on the road. Aunt (Shishu Bhawan warden) brought us here to attend this function.”

Mathew Puthyadom resident of Muvattupuzha told TNM that he was bitten twice by stray dogs and was scared to venture out.

“I can’t even go to church peacefully, I am really scared. After I was bitten, people kept a distance from me thinking that I was infected with rabies. I think people’s lives are more important than dogs,” he said.

Another section of the audience was people who were not victims, but came to express their solidarity with Chittilappilly’s call.

There was also a section of non-Keralaites, migrant labourers who had no idea what the protest was about.

“We just walked in, to watch the program.  The event is to cull stray dogs’ right? We support it,” said Ram Raj, a native of Jharkhand.