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Human Rights Commission Orders MP Govt to Pay Rs 2 Lakh to Kin of Girl Killed in Attack by Stray Dogs

Cities like Bhopal, Indore and others in Madhya Pradesh have increasingly reported injuries and accidents caused in stray dog attacks. (Image for representation: Dibyangshu SARKAR/AFP)

Cities like Bhopal, Indore and others in Madhya Pradesh have increasingly reported injuries and accidents caused in stray dog attacks. (Image for representation: Dibyangshu SARKAR/AFP)

Observing that every citizen reserves a right to live in a safe environment, the panel said local bodies were duty-bound to offer such an environment.

In an important verdict, the Madhya Pradesh human rights commission on Friday ordered the state government to pay ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of a girl killed in an attack by stray dogs. In the matter, which was pending since 2014, the commission has ordered the administration to offer compensation within a month’s time, as per a communique from the state human rights panel.

Aarti, a native of Sihada village in Khandwa district, was attacked by stray dogs on April 22, 2014. The state human rights commission had taken cognizance of the matter.

Observing that every citizen reserves a right to live in a safe environment, the commission in its order stated that local bodies are duty bound to offer such an environment to its citizens. The commission also entrusted the responsibility to local civic officers for removing or addressing constraints hindering human rights or endangering their safety.

Expressing concern over the issue, the commission pointed out that desired information was not offered by departments, collectors and civic bodies as sought by the commission. Referring to the verdicts of Supreme Court, high courts and civic body acts, the commission said it hoped civic authorities will pay more attention to safety of their citizens.

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Cities like Bhopal, Indore among others have increasingly reported injuries and accidents caused in stray dog attacks. After the state human rights panel had taken cognizance of stray dog attacks in 2019, the department of urban administration and housing development instructed collectors and local bodies to introduce immediate measures to curb such attacks. The department had ordered measures such as sterilisation and immunisation of stray dogs.

The department had also suggested more dog pounds and shelters to care for strays within city limits. Round-the-clock availability and dispensation of rabies injections were also mandated. Efforts seemed to have little impact, however, as stray dog attacks have not reduced in Bhopal and other cities.

In March, to a question from BJP MP Yashpal Sisodia on the increasing number of attacks by stray dogs in the legislative, the state government replied that it had spent Rs 17 crore in the last five years on the sterilisation of stray dogs in five major cities, including Bhopal.

Rs 7.46 crore was allocated to Indore and Rs 6.76 crore to Bhopal, stated the reply. The task was entrusted to two NGOs from Hyderabad and Bhopal. Bhopal commissioner Kalpana Shrivastava had also ordered the counting of dogs in 2019 after the animal husbandry department claimed that the city had 9,917 dogs even when municipal records showed around two lakh dogs in the state capital.

A report prepared by the municipal corporation claimed that the city had 11,544 stray dogs. The commissioner had initiated several endeavours to curb such attacks, including more shelters and feeding centres, but efforts fizzled out once she was removed from the post.

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first published:November 27, 2021, 14:22 IST