Builder, 2 others detained for 5 hours for 'feeding strays'

Police action came after neighbour complained about 'nuisance'

Builder, 2 others detained for 5 hours for 'feeding strays'
A 34-year-old builder, his driver and another man were detained at the Sampigehalli police station for more than five hours on Friday for feeding stray dogs. Rohith Chandrashekar, his driver Asif and an autorickshaw driver were picked up by the police from MS Ramaiah North City, a gated community off Thanisandra Main Road, northeast Bengaluru, while they were feeding strays. The action was taken after a neighbour filed a police complaint against Chandrashekar for causing a “nuisance”.

“I felt humiliated to stand barefoot near the lockup for hours like a criminal. I had to give a written apology to police saying I would not cause a nuisance henceforth by feeding the dogs,” Chandrashekar told DH. For the last four years, he has been taking care of eight stray dogs, of which four live with him in his house. He would feed them twice — after midnight and before daybreak so as not to “disturb” anyone.

Balaji, a neighbour, had complained to the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) many times. But the RWA backed Chandrashekar as he owns a house in the gated community unlike Balaji who is a tenant. “It’s a menace in this locality. My daughter was chased by six to seven dogs when she was playing. The horrified child fell and sustained injuries. We also love dogs, but the problem here is that there are too many strays and they are all ferocious,” Balaji said. When he didn’t get a response from the RWA, Balaji approached the jurisdictional Sampigehalli police. Police acted promptly and detained Chandrashekar and the two men.

‘No bar to feeding dogs’
An official in the BBMP’s Animal Husbandry Department, which administers sterilisation and anti-rabies vaccines to stray dogs with the help of nonprofits, said no one could stop a person from feeding dogs and there were no restrictions on that. G Anand, Joint Director (Animal Husbandry), BBMP, said, “As per the guidelines issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, which is a statutory advisory body, anyone can feed stray dogs. If someone throws stones at dogs or stops a person from feeding them, animal activists can complain to the board. No one can dislocate stray dogs either, as per a Supreme Court ruling.” He said that nearly 1,000 stray dogs were sterilised in the city recently.

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