A 25-year-old model has alleged that was “detained” at Dadar police station for three hours on Saturday and fined Rs 1,200 because her pet pug urinated on the stairs of the building she lives in.
Rupali Suri, a former Gladrags Mega Model contestant, told Hindustan Times she was “escorted” from her flat to the police station and allegedly threatened that she would be put behind bars after her pug, Don, had littered the building. The police, she said, acted on a complaint by a neighbour, whom she refused to name.
“I was made to sit in the police station for more than three hours like a criminal without being told what my offence was,” Suri said.
Suri lives in a ground floor flat in Vitthal Niwas building at Prabhadevi. The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon. “It was raining heavily and Don, who has been toilet trained, went out the open door and urinated on the stairs. I immediately cleaned it with disinfectant,” said Suri, who lives her with her grandmother, mother and two younger sisters.
An hour later, she said, two police personnel, including a lady constable, came to her house and asked her to accompany them to the police station saying a resident of the building had complained about her dog littering the premises.
“They asked me to come along, which was quite embarrassing. This happened in front of the entire neighbourhood,” said Suri Suri, who has acted in a south Indian film and television commercials.
Suri said Senior Police Inspector Ashok Unde demanded the dog’s licence number. “When I got the licence and showed it to him, he said it was not enough and that I would be fined,” Suri alleged. “I asked them about the legal section they had charged me under but they refused to tell me saying I could settle the matter in court.”
The police let her off after she paid a fine of Rs 1,200 and told her to appear in court on Monday, she said adding that the receipt for the fine does not specify what she had been charged for.
Unde said he was not in the police station and did not remember the case. When asked about the sections Suri was charged under, Unde told this correspondent to contact the police station. Police Sub Inspector S. Shinde said no first information report had been registered and Suri had been fined under the BMC Act.
Law on loitering
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 2005, says if a pet is found littering the streets, the corporation can fine its owner but if they clean the mess they are spared. This rule however does not apply to private buildings. Animal activists, however, said Rupali Suri’s case falls under the BMC’s jurisdiction and not the police’s. “It is shocking that the woman had to pay a fine even after she had cleaned the urine,” animal welfare activist Abodh Aras said.