About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Capital punishment for an Indian dog

This news item was forwarded to me recently by some animal lovers. If you click on the image and enlarge it you will be able to read the article by Giridhar Jha of Patna, Bihar. It's about a seven year old Indian dog called Chhotu who lives in Purnea district, Bihar. Chhotu is actually facing legal proceedings and a death sentence for defending his elderly owner Rajkumari Devi against goons in her village who want to grab her property. It seems the villagers have declared him a "mad dog" (whatever that is supposed to mean) and a death sentence has already been awarded. However, he recently appeared before the Sub Divisional Magistrate, who did not find any signs of mental instability. In fact every morning Chhotu leads his owner's five goats to the fields to graze and then brings them home again: hardly the behaviour of a "mad" dog.

Chhotu's next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow (August 5). In spite of being impoverished Rajkumari Devi has hired a local lawyer Mr Dilip Kumar Deepak to represent the dog. If he fails to prove Chhotu's innocence or get the death sentence revoked, Chhotu will be put down.

The following appeal is from Mr Rishi Dev, a Delhi-based activist (rishidev000@gmail.com) I must repeat his request to use a polite and non-confrontational tone when communicating with any of the officials listed.

Rishi Dev:

At this juncture prospects for Rajkumari Devi and Chhotu seem dim but if you agree that Chhotu's "Right to life" shouldn't be toppled by a bunch of goons then now is the chance to make your opinion count. All I ask of you is that you contact the following dignitaries and Heads of Offices in Bihar, for they hold the key to averting this impending tragedy.

A call, an SMS or simply an email from you to the concerned authorities can bring respite to this ageing widow and her four-legged son.

I would also appeal to all who are considering writing or calling the following dignitaries to be judicious and decorous with them and only implore them to mediate. Please avoid confrontation at all cost.

In addition making plentiful calls to the local media would persuade them to publicize this issue and garner sentiments in favour of Chhotu.

Remember Chhotu faces his "judgment day" on August 5, 2008.

People to whom you can appeal to mediate:

Ramnarayan Mandal, Minister for Animal & Fish Resources, Bihar, Tel (0612) 2230496

Bhanu Pratap Sharma, IAS, Principal Secretary M/o Animal & Fish Resources, Bihar, Tel (0612) 2226543 email ahd-bih@nic.in

Dr N. Saravana Kumar, IAS, Director M/o Animal & Fish Resources, Bihar, Tel (0612) 2224962 Mobile 09430903553 email dirahd-bih@nic.in

Brahmchari Chandra Shekhar Prasad, Joint Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Mobile 09431852255

Dr Ram Swarup Ram, Addl Director, Animal Husbandry Directorate, Bihar, Mobile 09304268336

Dr Ram Narayan Singh, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Directorate, Bihar, Mobile 09835069240

Dr Ramlakhan Prasad, Regional Director, Animal Husbandry Directorate, Purnea, Mobile 09939732313

Dr Vashishth Ram, Regional Director, Animal Husbandry Directorate, Purnea, Mobile 09430935128

Dr Ram Naresh Prasad Singh, District Officer, Animal Husbandry Directorate, Purnea, Mobile 09334637973

Shishir Sinha, Secretary to Ramji Rishidev, Minister for Environment & Forests, Mobile 0983522925

Maheshwar Singh, Special Secretary, M/o Environment & Forests), Mobile 09431017500

MJ Mishra, Wildlife Warden, M/0 Environment & Forests, Mobile 09431815965

Shri Sridhar C, IAS, District Magistrate & Collector, Purnea, Tel: 06454 242599/242503/242501

Commissioner Purnea Division, Tel 06454 242246/243199/242246

Secretary to Commissioner, Purnea, Tel 06454 243199/244141

Shri Bhupendra Kumar Singh, Additional Collector, Purnea, Tel 06454 242520/242510
P.A. to Collector, Purnea, Tel 06454 242370

D.I.G. Police, Purnea, Tel 06454 243156/243126

Smt Rashmi Verma, IAS, Chairman, Bihar State Tourism, Tel 0612 2222622/2215531, Telefax 0612 2234194, email secytourisbihar@yahoo.co.in, bstdc@rediffmail.com

Shri Nitish Kumar, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Bihar, Tel 0612 2223886/2224784 (office), email cmbihar-bih@nic.in

Raghunanthanlal Bhatia, Hon'ble Governor of Bihar, Tel 0612 2226207, email governorbihar@nic.in

Shri Sushil Kumar Modi, Hon'ble Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar), Tel 0612 2227894 (office), email dycmbihar@yahoo.com

1 comment:

Rajashree Khalap said...

Indian Express Patna reported on yesterday's hearing (story by Santosh Singh, dated August 5). Chhotu appeared before the bench so they could get an idea of his behaviour. Executive Magistrate Shabbir Hasan commented that "the dog looks all right." However the hearing was adjourned because the complainant failed to show up (let's hope he never does). Sanity seems to have prevailed, for now at least.