Union minister Maneka Gandhi has lashed out at a Kerala businessman, a councillor of Piravom municipality and a member of Njarakkal panchayat in Ernakulam district for “mindlessly” culling stray dogs. In an exclusive chat with THE WEEK, Maneka said that strict action should be taken against people who killed dogs and those who led such bizarre and ruthless activities.
She said, "It is strange that the state government cannot control its own local bodies and panchayats. On one hand, they are providing funds and infrastructure for the only scientific and legal solution, which is sterilisation, and on the other, a businessman is paying money openly to flout the law. The councillors are listening to him instead of the government. This has never happened in any other state in India."
In Piravom, a group of people, led by councillor Gils Periappuram, searched several areas of the municipality and killed many stray dogs. These dogs were asphyxiated using a noose with the help of a dog catcher. Businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly is said to have facilitated the service of the dog catcher following a request from the councillor.
Said Maneka, "The dogs that were killed in recent days were mostly the ones owned by people. They were stolen and killed. Three of the dogs that were killed were pregnant. If they can kill a pregnant helpless animal, what will they do to human beings?"
The minister said a businessman, who rewards criminals and councillors, seems to be running the state. "The government seems too helpless to act," she added.