A rabid dog bit 50 people here after which police were issued orders to shoot at sight stray dogs that showed signs of being ill.
The Kottayam Revenue Division Officer directed the police to shoot any rabid dog.
Eyewitness said the dog went on a biting spree in and around Kottayam town in places like Arpookara, Neendur, and Kumaranellor.
A Kottayam Medical College official told IANS said that between 8 pm Friday and 1.30 am Saturday, around 50 people came and took injection to protect themselves from rabies.
As word spread that scores of people were bitten, youths in the area launched a hunt for the dog. Later police joined them.
Ravi Kumar, inspector at the Medical College station in Kottayam, said oral orders to shoot at sight came late Friday evening.
"This (Saturday) morning we shot one dog and have received reports that several stray dogs have been beaten to death by angry people living in these areas," said Kumar.