“Just for fun.” This was what the boys who burnt alive three puppies at a Hyderabad graveyard last week were believed have told police.
The youngsters between and 10 and 17 years were detained on Thursday, a day after a video of the incident they shot and posted on Facebook went viral on the social media.
Police produced the boys in a juvenile court, which remanded them to judicial custody. They were later shifted to juvenile home.
A criminal case under Section 429 (killing or maiming cattle etc.) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was registered against the boys, all residents of the Musheerabad area.
One of them worked at a garage, another at a fish market. Others were students.
“Obviously, it was a mischievous act without any prior planning. They were playing cricket in the area and found these two-month old puppies moving around there. And they decided to have fun by setting them ablaze,” Musheerabad sub-inspector Ravi Kumar Reddy said.
A clinical psychologist told HT their act pointed at criminal tendencies.
“The manner in which these boys set ablaze the three pups alive, shoved them back into fire…clearly show their criminal tendencies at an early age,” Havovi Hyderabadiwala said, and added their parents should get counselling on how to deal with them.
“They thought they would get some kick out of killing living creatures…And it appears they do not have any regrets for their act and they have no parental control,” she said.
NG Jayasimha, managing director of the animal-protection group Humane Society International, wanted a psychiatric evaluation of the accused.
“There is abundant research demonstrating that violence towards animals by children can be… a predictor of serious anti-social behaviour in adulthood, including criminal offences and violence towards women and children,” he said.
Nagam Pravallika, animal welfare officer at a Hyderabad organisation, said: “Obviously, they are not normal children and are out and out criminals.”