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Puppies set ablaze, eight boys held

Eight boys were today held for allegedly burning alive three puppies at a graveyard in Musheerabad area, police said.

Puppies set ablaze, eight boys held
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Screen grab from the video (Facebook)

Hyderabad

"Eight boys, aged between 10 to 17, were apprehended in connection with the incident and all of them have been now produced before a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB)," Musheerabad Police Station B Mohan Kumar told PTI.

The attack on the dogs took place at a graveyard on Saturday afternoon and came to light on Tuesday when a video of the incident went viral on social media.

A group of minor boys caught three stray puppies and tied them together. They then dragged the hapless animals to some distance and put them into a fire made out of jute bags and dry sticks, Shreya Paropkari, an animal rights activist, had said in a complaint filed with Musheerabad Police.

"One of the perpetrators recorded the entire incident and is heard instructing and instigating the others to set them on fire. The recordings were recovered from a fish stall owner in Musheerabad," she said in the complaint.

Following the complaint, a case was registered on Tuesday under IPC Section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc) and relevant sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act in connection with the incident.

Earlier, Shreya, who works as Cruelty Response Manager with the Humane Society International, and Vasanthi Vadi, an activist with the NGO, People for Animals, met Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy and submitted the video clip of the incident.

Meanwhile, N G Jayasimha, Managing Director of HSI/India said, "We hope that the Juvenile Justice Board takes swift and stern action for this inexplicable violence against defenceless puppies. A psychiatric evaluation should also be carried out.

"There is abundant research demonstrating that violence towards animals by children can be an indicator of other abused and potentially a predictor of serious anti–social behaviour in adulthood including criminal offenses and violence towards women and children," he said in a statement.

Demanding that the laws relating to cruelty to animals be updated, HSI India said in most cases, the accused were able to get away with paying a meagre fine of Rs 50, the maximum penalty prescribed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

"Rs 50 was the penalty for animal cruelty in the year 1960 when the law was enacted. In that age, Rs 50 had a certain value. Today, the value of Rs 50 is negligible.

"It is surprising that the Government of India did not even bother to change it in the last 55 years. The #NoMore50 campaign started by the body aims to revise the penalties for animal cruelty to amounts relevant to this day and age," the organisation said.

It said the penalty for killing an animal is less than hiring an auto rickshaw to court to attend the trial.

"It is time we study and understand the importance of violent behaviour towards animals in children and the domino effect it could have in other forms of violence.

"The increase in the number of animal abuse incidents in the recent past has put the spotlight on the pressing need to strengthen animal laws in the country," it said.

Jayasimha said as an animal welfare advocate and as a parent, it broke his heart to see the suffering that the puppies, which seem to be about two months old, went through and the possible violent history that the youngsters must have had to deal with to resort to this kind of action.

The incident in Hyderabad closely follows the case of a dog being thrown off a terrace by medical students in Chennai and other animal cruelty cases across the country, including serial killing of dogs in Delhi, a bestiality case in Kerala and a case of puppy killing in Bengaluru.


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