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NGO in the dock after botched operation kills stray dog in Bengaluru

A well-placed police source told DH that the investigators were awaiting the autopsy report and action would be initiated as per the law. Repeated phone calls by DH to Radha Amarnath, president of ASRA, went unanswered.
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 22:37 IST
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 22:37 IST

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Bengaluru: A botched sterilisation operation by an NGO that led to the death of a stray dog in the city has prompted the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to temporarily suspend the contract. A separate case of animal cruelty was also registered by the police. 

DH has learnt that the BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) directed ASRA, the NGO, to stop the animal birth control (ABC) programme in Mahadevapura, RR Nagar and Yelahanka zones until further orders.

It was also learnt that the NGO has been carrying out the programme without the mandatory project recognition certificate from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). 

A letter from the AWBI addressed to the BBMP commissioner on March 19, 2024, and seen by DH, directed the corporation to stop the ABC programme and cancel the tenders granted to ASRA, VSAWRD, Sarvodaya and Care of Voiceless Animal Trust as they lacked the project recognition certificate. 

A source within the BBMP revealed that ASRA continued the ABC without the project recognition certificate after seeking extensions multiple times. 

An FIR was filed against a worker of ASRA at the HAL police station on June 7. 

As per Saroja Dileepan, the complainant, Lakshmi, a healthy female dog, was picked up from Anand Nagar slum quarters on May 2 around 12.30 pm along with four other strays by Krishna from ASRA after the NGO was contacted by another animal activist.

On May 6, around 11 am, the sterilised dogs were dropped back. Suresh, a daily wager from the slum quarters and caretaker of Lakshmi, found its intestines protruded out of the surgical wound and it was in immense pain. A photograph of the wounded dog was reviewed by DH. 

Saroja claimed Suresh contacted Krishna and he arrived at the location after three hours. “Krishna caught Lakshmi using a net and took her away in a van,” she alleged. 

Suresh contacted Krishna subsequently and was told that the dog had died. “When Suresh asked for the body to be handed over for cremation, Krishna told him that they would do it. Krishna dropped the call when Suresh asked him for photographs and hasn’t responded since,” Saroja alleged. 

She also said that since the ABC centre was closed in Mahadevapura, the dogs were being taken to Yelahanka, nearly 30 kilometres away, for sterilisation, putting immense stress on the animals. “The NGO’s negligence also was a reason for the dog’s death,” the complainant said.

Arun Prasad, a member of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Bengaluru Urban), said there are a lot of procedural lapses.

“The jurisdictional veterinary officer doesn’t oversee the surgery and the entire programme is carried out lackadaisically,” he told DH. 

HAL police opened a case under Section 11 (treating animals cruelly) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and relevant IPC sections.

A well-placed police source told DH that the investigators were awaiting the autopsy report and action would be initiated as per the law. Repeated phone calls by DH to Radha Amarnath, president of ASRA, went unanswered.

Highlights - Surgery gone wrong Stray picked up for sterilisation found with intestines protruding from surgical wound 'ASRA' asked to stop birth control programme till further orders

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Published 09 June 2024, 22:37 IST

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