One evening in late November Animal Aid responded to the distraught calls from half-a-dozen young men surrounding the writhing body of a dog who had been shot in his side. The dog bled to death within minutes and was dead by the time Animal Aid reached. The agitated young men accompanied Animal Aid to the police station the next day to lodge the complaint though they were unwilling to name the shooter, and so the first information report was lodged against an unknown accused. Animal Aid put out a Rs. 10,000 award for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer which was covered by the local press.
The case was registered under Section 428, 429, and 336 of the Indian Penal Code, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The investigation was led by A.S.I. Umrav Hussain under S.H.O. Nand Kumar of the Goverdhan Vilas Thana.
In the following days Animal Aid was contacted by several people who said they had seen the incident and gave details of the killer, which was then passed on to the police.
All was quiet for several days and we were told the police were busy with other pending cases. Then on 12 December, resident of Sector 11, Maharaj Ka Akhada (the site where the dog was shot), 65-year-old Khalil Ahmed was arrested and interrogated. A fire arm was recovered and the bullet found through the post-mortem in the dog’s abdomen matched the fire-arm. We learned that Ahmed had confessed to shooting the dog because the dog had been bothering Ahmed’s goat (who he was raising for slaughter!) who was tethered outside a shop near the road.
The accused, Ahmed, was charge-sheeted on 18 Dec. and police presented the case to the courts on the 20th.
While justice is still far from being achieved as the courts will likely takes months to address the case, the progress is significant and one of high-impact in the community where the incident occurred. Dozens of local residents gave information anonymously and have kept in contact with Animal Aid to stay updated on the police activity and the arrest of the shooter.