Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) Residents of the coastal village, where at least two old women were attacked and one killed by stray dogs, have lashed out at Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi for her sympathy towards strays.
The gruesome incident took place on Friday night around 9 p.m. when 65-year-old Sheeluamma was attacked by dozens of stray dogs barely 10 km from the state secretariat here.
Kochuouseph Chittilapally, a leading businessman in Kerala who has been protesting against the stray dog menace, attacked Maneka Gandhi and even said that he wished she would be bitten once to realise the danger that people in the area are facing.
Chittilapally said: “I know Gandhi will not be bitten by a dog because she moves around with high security. A probe should be launched into how much kickbacks are being received by people in the sale of anti-rabies vaccine. The state ministers are also silent and it has come to a stage that only if a dog bites a minister’s wife would there be action. It seems none is interested.”
According to the daughter-in-law of the victim, Sheeluamma, whose home lacks a toilet, went to the seafront to use a toilet there and did not return for quite some time.
Fearing an accident, her son went to look for her. He witnessed her being torn up by the hungry canines. He had to dive into the sea to save himself from the dogs.
Speaking to the media, her daughter-in-law said: “By the time the dogs went away, her body had very few parts left and she died on the way to the hospital.”
Her family and residents of the area were angry as they waited outside the state-run hospital to collect her body. They have blamed city authorities for inaction against the stray menace.
Barely an hour later, in a second attack Daisy, 50, was critically injured on the seafront.
Daisy’s daughter Pathrosi said: “We were shocked to see both her hands bitten at several places by these dogs. Her condition was very serious when we brought her to the hospital.”
“What sort of law do we have in our country. We are not going to take this again and we know what to do. We waited all this while to see if the authorities would do anything, but they say to us that cases would be registered against us if we try to eliminate dogs,” said angry residents waiting in front of the home of the deceased.
“We have lost all our patience as the authorities are hanging on to some obscure law which says dogs cannot be eliminated. Are we inferior to these dogs,” asked a group of angry residents in Pulluvilla.
The area near the airport is the worst affected by the stray menace in this coastal village, the residents said.