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In Srinagar, an angry protest with a difference

Last updated on: February 18, 2012 18:51 IST

In Srinagar, an angry protest with a difference

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Srinagar, which is no stranger to angry protests, on Saturday witnessed a demonstration with a difference as civil society activists took to the streets to protest the growing menace of stray dogs in the city.

The increasing growth of canine population and increasing attacks on the people forced the people to stage the protests in the heart of Srinagar.

Scores of activists, under the aegis of voluntary organisation 'Valley Citizens Council', appeared at the city centre carrying placards and shouting slogans against the canine menace. The increasing number of stray dogs has created a scare among the local population, especially children.

Reportage: Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

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Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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"Dogs are out to kill us. Dog lovers what should we do' read one placard. 'Save dogs, kill humans' stated another placard.

Activists also say that there has been an 80 per cent increase in cases of dog bite in the last one year.

"Against 4,230 cases reported in 2010, the number swelled to 7,257 in 2011," said Imdad Saqi, a local journalist and an office bearer of the council.

The state high court is also hearing a PIL on the issue. In the meantime, a proposal had been mooted to construct dog pounds on the city's outskirts. But no action has yet been initiated on the expensive proposal.

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Sources in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation admit their inability to control the menace in view of strong opposition from various animal rights groups against the killing of canines and lack of resources to undertake sterilisation of the dogs.

"Packs of dogs roam the streets in my locality and I always carry a bamboo stick to guard myself against any attack in the evening," said Abdul Rashid, a local resident.

The state governor recently directed the inspector general of the Central Reserve Police Force to remove all the dogs roaming in the Dachigam National Park during his visit to the park last week.


Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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