The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear on Friday a plea against alleged culling of stray dogs in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh following the deaths of several children in the area.
The plea was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice M.M. Shantanagoudar.
The petition, filed by advocate Gargi Srivastava, sought a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that no more killings of community dogs take place as an after-effect of the death of 13 children in the past seven months in Sitapur, unless it was established that dogs were behind such attacks.
It also sought a direction to the state government to take immediate action and lodge FIRs against individuals involved in aiding and abetting the killing of dogs without following the due process of law and also initiate an inquiry against erring officials of the district administration.
There was "indiscriminate and inhuman killing" of stray dogs in Sitapur on the mere assumption that the deaths were being caused by dog attacks, but subsequent investigations had pointed towards attacks on children by wild animals and not stray dogs, said the plea.
It said that "owing to the lack of proper and timely efforts by the district administration to contain the number of attacks and the reason behind the same, the attacks increased drastically which has, as per the reports, led to the deaths of 13 children".
The magnitude of the problem increased this month when unconfirmed reports of attacks being carried out by stray dogs appeared in the media after statements by the District Magistrate of Sitapur, the plea filed through advocate Astha Sharma stated.
"Following such newspaper reports, indiscriminate and brutal killing of community dogs by hanging them alive, burying them alive, hitting them with 'lathis' (wooden stick), leaving them to bleed to death in a pile of garbage and shooting them point blank started."
It said this rampant massacre led to over 150 dogs being brutally killed over a span of a few days by not only the local people but also under orders of the village panchayats, police officials as well as the officers from the district administration.
The plea said in its November 18, 2015 order, the apex court categorically directed all local authorities and panchayats not to kill stray dogs.
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