7-month-old mauled to death by stray dogs in Bhopal; police exhume body for postmortem

The baby was declared dead when taken to hospital after which the family buried him without informing police; no eye-witnesses have come forward yet; ₹50,000 financial assistance announced for family

Updated - January 13, 2024 07:49 pm IST

Published - January 13, 2024 01:55 pm IST - Bhopal

Image used for representative purpose only.

Image used for representative purpose only. | Photo Credit: LAKSHMI NARAYANAN E

A seven-month old boy was killed in Madhya Pradesh’s capital after he was brutally mauled by two or three stray dogs in a residential locality where his mother worked as a cleaning staff, police said on Saturday.

According to the police, the incident took place on the afternoon of January 10 when the boy’s mother, Raksha Bai, was sweeping a house being constructed in a society in the Ayodhya Nagar area. After feeding the baby, she had placed him on a mat near the door.

“She must have gone inside to clean when two or three dogs dragged the child. The child’s two sisters, aged three and five years, were also playing around but probably did not see the attack,” a police officer told The Hindu, adding that some labourers working nearby had shouted and intervened to rescue the child. 

The child was taken to a nearby hospital but it was declared that he had been dead when brought in, the officer added.  

Police not informed

The victim’s family originally hails from a village in Guna district and had come to Bhopal for work about two years ago. They currently live in the Chhawani Pathar slum area. The boy’s father, Devendra Valmiki, works as a driver.

The Ayodhya Nagar police station’s SHO Mahesh Nilhare told The Hindu that the victim’s family had buried the child’s body without informing the police or the local administration about the incident. “Someone had advised them that reporting the incident might lead to trouble for the family so they quietly buried him,” Mr. Nilhare said, adding that the police only learned of the incident two days later.

“We enquired in the area and at some hospitals when we came to know about the family. They were so disturbed that when we reached out to them, they denied that any such incident had taken place. It was only after a team of police and district administration counselled them, they told us the location of the body,” the SHO said.

The child’s body was exhumed on Friday and sent for postmortem, Mr. Nilhare said, adding that further investigation will be conducted based on the postmortem report. He also said that no eye-witness has yet come forward with details of the incident and the family is not in a condition to give statements. 

Stray dog sterilisation campaign

The Bhopal district administration has announced financial assistance of ₹50,000 for the victim’s family and Collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh has directed the civic body to run a campaign to catch and sterilise stray dogs in the city. 

Mr. Nilhare said that this was the first incident of such brutality in the area, adding that a Bhopal Municipal Corporation team has picked up 10 to 12 stray dogs from the locality since the incident. 

Earlier this week, a dog reportedly went on a spree, biting more than 20 people in the city’s M.P. Nagar area.

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