Sitapur: Canine terror spreading, villagers petrified
The terror of feral canines is no more confined to just 7-8 km radius in villages of Khairabad area of Sitapur district. It is now gradually spreading to other distant villages of Sitapur after fresh attacks on children on Friday morning, causing death of two children, aged 7 and 10. Two others were severely injured in the dog attack.Updated: May 05, 2018 14:50 IST
The terror of feral canines is no more confined to just 7-8 km radius in villages of Khairabad area of Sitapur district. It is now gradually spreading to other distant villages of Sitapur after fresh attacks on children on Friday morning, causing death of two children, aged 7 and 10. Two others were severely injured in the dog attack.
Fear prevails among children as well as adults who are reluctant to go to their mango orchards alone. People move in groups and carry canes, rods and axes to combat the canines.
The fresh attacks took place in Mahsingpur, Budhanapur, Chaubeypur and Peepur villages of Khairabad and Sitapur town area, even as the district administration officials and a four-member team of dogcatchers were combing forested zones in Tikaria, Gulpuria, Kholia and adjoining villages Sharfapur, Maluhi Sariya and Govind Sarai of Khairabad where feral dogs had killed children on Tuesday morning.
The distance between two spots where feral dogs attacked kids on Tuesday and Friday is nearly 18 kilometres. “I had been hearing about dog attacks in areas adjoining Tikaria and Gulpuria villages for the past 4-5 months but never thought that this could happen to me,” said Nisha, mother of 10-year-old Virendra Lodh who was killed in one such attack on Friday morning.
Narrating the incident, Nisha said she never allowed her son to go out alone and on Friday morning too, he had gone to attend natures’ call along with two other kids Shyamu (10) and Raju (11) at around 7am. “Shyamu and Raju came running when a pack of dogs surrounded and attacked Virendra. I immediately rushed to rescue my son but I was late. The dogs had bitten him so badly that he died before reaching the hospital,” said the sobbing mother.
Shyamu said there was a pack of at least seven dogs who pulled down Virendra and attacked him when they were attending natures’ call around 200 metres from their houses. He said he threw stones to scare the dogs but it was in vain. . He said when some of the dogs moved towards him he ran towards the village and informed other villagers.
Sita Ram Rajvanshi, husband of Budhanapur village pradhan Shyam Kumari, said the incident had really terrorised the villagers and there was much resentment against Sitapur district administration which had failed to curb the dogs menace. In fact, it was spreading to a bigger area, he said, adding the villagers had killed one of the attacker dogs when they were alerted after hearing Nisha’s screams while the remaining dogs fled in different directions.
The same pack of dogs apparently moved towards Mahsinghpur village. Here, the dogs killed a seven-year-old girl Geeta when she and her eight-year-old cousin sister Sita had gone to attend natures’ call near their house at around 7.30 am.
Sita, an eyewitness, said the pack of six dogs surrounded Geeta and pulled her down. She said she was terrified after seeing such violent dogs and came running to her house to inform her parents.
“I and other family members rushed to rescue Geeta but by then the dogs had killed my daughter and were dragging the body,” said Gudiya, tears rolling down her cheeks.
Bhallu, a resident of Mahsinghpur village, said the dogs were initially reluctant to move away from the body when only 3-4 villagers reached there but fled when more people turned up.
The dogs thereafter attacked and severely injured seven-year-old Vinkal and 11-year-old Rinki in adjoining Peerpur and Chaubeypur villages.
FERAL DOGS STRONGER, ATTACK KIDS STRATEGICALLY
Killer dogs in the region have a stronger build than ordinary village dogs.
Eyewitnesses as well police officials say the killer dogs are not only stronger but violent in nature and attack children in a strategic manner.
Superintendent of police (SP) of Sitapur Anand Kulkarni said he visited all four villages where children were attacked on Friday morning and found many similarities in all attacks . He apprehended that it was the same pack of dogs which was moving around and attacking children in Sitapur villages.
The SP said eyewitness of all incidents mentioned that the attacker dogs were bigger and stronger as compared to normal strays . “In all the incidents, the dogs had attacked in a strategic manner as wolves do while attacking their prey. They isolated one of the children after finding him or her alone and then pulled down their victim,” he stressed.
He said the dogs had caused injuries on throat, face and abdomen of children after pulling them down in every incident.
Kulkarni said the same modus operandi of ‘killer’ dogs was found in previous incidents in other villages. He said it was suspected that the same pack of dogs was involved in all incidents as no attack was reported in other areas where the district administration started combing the thickets after three children were killed on Tuesday. He said the same pack of dogs apparently moved towards other villages and attacked children.
Sitapur city magistrate Harsh Dev Pandey said the forest department officials had been alerted and asked to identify the pack of dogs attacking children. He said the foresters officials had also been asked to assist police and district administration to end the menace as it was now growing bigger and villagers were terrified due to back-to-back incidents.
He said he held a meeting of all police stations in charges and circle officers to curb the menace . “Police and district administration teams will comb every year in the morning as well evening time until the ‘killer’ dogs get identified,” he said .
Pandey said the police stations in charges had been told to rope in village pradhans to alert residents of other villages to not allow their children to move out alone, especially in the morning and evening . He said adult people had been told to accompany the children if they were going out and to equip themselves with canes to combat dogs in case of an attack.