Seven stray dogs were poisoned to death on Sunday night and Monday night around Bengal’s Lalgarh area in West Midnapore district, fuelling the police’s suspicion that it was a precursor to a Maoist attack.
The police suspect the dogs were killed by Maoists as their barking at night alerts security forces to the movements of the left-wing extremists.
The red brigade is suspected to have eliminated the dogs before an assault on Lalgarh, 160 km west of Kolkata.
There is all the more reason to believe that this was the handiwork of Maoists because some dogs were killed at two strategic points, the police said.
Two animals were killed on Sunday night near Lalgarh High School, the town’s southern point that abuts on an area that is a stronghold of the rebels.
On Monday night, five street dogs were killed near Lalgarh Girls’ High School, the eastern entry point to the town.
A person reportedly told the police that he saw four persons throwing food at some dogs on Sunday night. He was then threatened and asked to get inside his dwelling.
In Patna, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, a global organisation, has appealed to the Maoist leadership not to kill dogs. The organisation said in a statement that dogs “claim no nation, harbour no weapons and hold no political aspirations”.