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Stray dogs maul toddler to death in Chandigarh

The 18-month-old boy was playing with elder siblings when he was attacked by pack of four stray dogs around noon.

punjab Updated: Jun 18, 2018 20:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Stray dogs,dog menace,Chandigarh news
Victim Aayush(HT Photo)

A pack of four stray dogs attacked and mauled to death an 18-month-old boy at a park in Sector 18 on Sunday.

The toddler, identified as Aayush, was playing in the park with his three elder siblings while their mother, who is a domestic help, had gone to work at a nearby house, said police. The family lives in Palsora.

The victim’s maternal uncle, Popat Lal, said Aayush was at the lower end of a swing when the dogs started barking aggressively at him and then attacked him around 11:30am.

“The whole incident lasted for nearly eight minutes. The dogs dragged the boy into a puddle of water that had accumulated in the park after the overnight rain and mauled him,” said the uncle. “The other siblings ran away in fear.”

Deep bite wounds

Popat Lal said the back of Aayush’s head was covered with canine bites and there were teeth marks on his lower back and chest too.

The boy was taken to Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, where all efforts to revive him proved futile. Doctors confirmed that he had deep dog bite injuries on his body.

Police officers, who reached the spot, said the boy had lost a lot of blood as evident from the puddle in the park that had turned red.

Aayush was youngest among his siblings — two brothers and a sister. His mother, Mamta, 27, said she used to always leave her kids in the park to play while she worked in nearby houses on Sundays. Her husband, Mundar, works at a shop.

Sector-19 station house officer Davinder Singh said: “ We have recorded statements of the family members and initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

The boy’s body has been kept in the mortuary and will be handed over to the family after postmortem.

Past canine encounters

June 6, 2018: A 13-year-old boy, Amit, was bitten by a rabid dog at Vikas Nagar in Mauli Jagran. He had to shuttle from one hospital to another for treatment, being denied admission

April 20, 2017: A six-year-old girl, Sadia, succumbed to her injuries at the PGIMER after being bitten by a rabid dog.

A stray dog was found in the same park in Sector 18 in Chandigarh on Sunday, where a toddler was mauled to death earlier in the day. MC officials said two dogs had been captured from the park after the incident.

MC fails to rein in canine problem

The Chandigarh municipal corporation’s efforts, if any, have failed to check the number of stray dogs in the city.

A survey conducted by the animal husbandry department in October 2012 put the number of stray dogs at 7,850. Although there has been no further survey, sources on the basis of a rough estimate said the number stands at around 12,000 now.

Meanwhile, around 20 dog bite cases are being reported daily at the two civil dispensaries in Sectors 19 and 38, that have rabies clinics.

After a toddler was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in a park on Sunday, Dr MS Kamboj, superintendent, slaughter house, said: “We have already picked up two dogs from that area. Although we are already holding regular drives, we will work more aggressively.”

However, a senior official under the MC’s medical officer of health (MOH), speaking on anonymity, admitted that the department can’t do much as after sterilising the dogs, they are left back in the same area. Area councillor and former mayor Asha Jaswal, too, expressed the same helplessness.

No result despite HC rap

Even the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) in May last year questioned the Chandigarh administration’s preparedness to tackle stray dog menace.

The HC bench of justice Jaswant Singh had asked the administration that while it is making claims on sterilisation, educating citizens and implementing a scheme to deal with the problem, how come there are reports of dog bites in newspapers.

“I am not interested in data. You show me what you have done to curb the menace,” the HC bench told the UT administration, which claimed 9,000 dogs had been sterilised to control the canine population.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of the Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations, Chandigarh, said the civic body has not learnt any lesson from the past incidents.

“It is sad that whenever such incidents happen they conduct drives, but forget about it after a few days,” he said.

Former mayor Poonam Sharma said the MC should approach the apex court for amendment in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules. “The MC House has already approved that ferocious and aggressive dogs should be killed, but the administration has done nothing in this regard,” she said.

Mayor Davesh Moudgil said he will check about the increase in canine population. “I have also sought a report from the MOH and will hold a meeting regarding compensation to the boys’ family,” he said.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 11:22 IST