Amarpuri locality lives in terror of ferocious strays

Residents of central Delhi’s Nabi Karim have christened about a dozen dogs who are known to bite people frequently. Tina, Gabru and Sher are among them.

“We have named the dogs so that we can keep a tab on which one has attacked people how many times. Residents are also warned by others about the presence of the more ferocious ones in certain areas and that helps them prepare properly,” Ashok Kumar Dupga told Deccan Herald.

Dupga is the immediate neighbour of the two-month-old girl who was mauled to death by a rabid canine on Thursday night.

People arm themselves with sticks while venturing out of their homes after 10 pm or call their families to accompany them back home from nearby railway stations while returning late at night.

Gopu, 22, claims he was attacked by a pack of five to six dogs only a few months ago when he was returning from his work in Paharganj.

“They were not afraid of the stick I was carrying. I was pinned down and bitten by three of them before some passerbys rescued me,” he said.

Residents claimed there are one or two cases of dog bites in Amarpuri, the locality where the death took place, every day.

“Even a casual visit to Lok Nayak Hospital will bring to fore several victims of dog bites from Amarpuri every day,” said Abrar, another resident. He claimed he and his son have been bitten twice each over the last two years.

Lack of response

Though angry with the incident and alleged lack of response from Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and several complaints about the dog menace, residents acknowledged they themselves are responsible for encouraging the canines.

Deccan Herald found several homes in Amarpuri where canines had entered the house. At least two houses were seen where street dogs climbed up to the first floor of the buildings.
One of the eight other people bitten by the rabid dog on Thursday was attacked on the second floor of his house, right next to that of the killed baby girl.

“First, the several meat shops here draw more dogs to this locality than others. Then people throw cooked meat pieces and bones right onto the streets that keeps the dogs waiting outside all day long,” said another resident Abrar.

And, when MCD officials do come occasionally to capture the canines, many residents allegedly disallow them from taking the dogs away.

“They raise street dogs at their homes which in turn give birth to several pups. Many of them do not let us take the street dogs away claiming they are their pets,” said Rajesh Pandey, an MCD official who was in the locality on Friday to take stock of the situation.

Several residents complained that they have informed MCD about the dog menace in the area, but to little response. Pandey said rabid dogs of the locality are picked up for sterilisation, but only from the outskirts.

“Our vans cannot enter the narrow streets of this locality, so we take the dogs found on the edges and sterilise them,” he said.

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