Animal rights activists have questioned a court of inquiry ordered by the Indian army against a Dehradun-based officer who allegedly beat three puppies to death and injured another two at Nature Road area over a week ago.
Activist Puja Bahukhandi, who lodged a complaint against Major Manish Thapa, alleged that the “basic charge” of killing the four-month-old puppies – as mentioned in the first information report (FIR) – did not even figure in the court of inquiry. She further accused the Army of trying to absolve the accused of his offence.
According to Bahukhandi, the incident occurred when the puppies began barking at Major Thapa’s German Shepherd on the night of May 11. In a fit of rage, the Army officer killed the animals and disposed of their bodies. Bahukhandi lodged an FIR against him with the Dehradun Cantonment police the next day.
The Army officer did not respond to calls by HT.
“I have serious doubts if the Army is interested in taking action against Major Thapa,” the animal rights activist said, adding that the crux of the inquiry dwells on a dispute between the Army officer and a female Lt Colonel in his neighbourhood. The woman officer had reportedly taken exception to the accused’s act.
Bahukhandi alleged that despite repeated attempts, she was not allowed to visit the general officer in command of the Dehradun Cantonment to hand over a copy of the FIR.
The Dehradun police, for their part, are still investigating the case.
“The Army officer has been booked under sections 428, 229 and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The matter is under investigation, and we will not hesitate to take stern action against him,” said Dedhradun superintendent of police (city) Pradeep Rai, adding that several witnesses have been questioned.