Five people held with carcasses, comatose dogs

When local residents near the Jakkur airfield stopped a man who had an unconscious dog slung over his shoulders on Saturday morning, they were hardly prepared for what was to follow.

The moment he was questioned, the man dropped the animal and sprinted into a hut at the far end of an open field. When the residents who gave chase caught up with him, they were shocked to discover nine more dogs in a semi-conscious state tied to trees around the hut.

Inside the hut were three men and a woman. Asked what was going on, they explained in faltering Kannada that they were from Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh. Claiming to be pig farmers, they said they were taking the strays to guard the pigs.

Stomach-churning sight

Even as they were spinning this yarn, one of the residents discovered a pile of malodorous gunny bags in a nearby storm-water drain. He opened the bags and found putrefying carcasses of 10 dogs inside.

Convinced that this was part of some sinister plot, the residents called the Amruthahalli police. The police too were not sure how to handle the case and called in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s Animal Husbandry Department.

Blood, tissue samples

The department’s Joint Director Parvez Ahmed Piran reached the spot and took samples of blood and tissue from the dead dogs as well as from those tied to the trees.

The Amruthahalli police said based on Dr. Piran’s advice, they registered a case against the five under various sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Dr. Piran told The Hindu, “There is a strong suspicion that these dogs were being killed for their meat.” There are several dhabas on Bellary Road and the gang might have been supplying the meat to some of these eateries, he added.

The danger

While dog meat is not harmful by itself and indeed is a delicacy in some cultures, Dr. Piran said: “These dogs appear to have been drugged. Tests will reveal what drugs were used. If people ate this meat, they could fall seriously ill.” He said the dead dogs must have been injected with an overdose.

The other possibility, Dr. Piran said, was that the dog carcasses were being used as compost by nearby vineyard owners. “Dead dogs are said to be very good fertilizer for grapevines,” he pointed out.

The arrested persons have been identified as Narayanamma, Lakshmana, Madappa, Redappa and Anji.

Previous instance

In January 2005, MLCs cutting across party lines expressed concern after a discovery that several eateries in the city were passing off dog meat as mutton. The discussion was held during Zero Hour by the then Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council D.H. Shankaramurthy.

The issue had come to light after the arrest of one Anand from Andhra Pradesh, who was found stealing dogs from the city’s neighbourhoods and selling them to eateries.

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