Posted in Articles, Be the Change, Do you know?, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Maoists and Indian Street Dogs, Street Dogs of India

How stray dogs are foiling infiltration bids along the Indian LoC

We at JAAGRUTI had shared in our earlier posts, how police stations across Naxal infested regions of India have befriended street dogs in their near vicinity to help alert them to naxal attacks and impending danger, and now, we would like to share how these stray dogs are helping Indian army soldiers posted along the LoC (Line of Control) on the country’s high security border posts, foil infiltration bids and giving our soldiers much needed companionship in a hard terrain doing a hard job of protecting us all and our nation. This story was published on the Front page of The Hindustan Times dated 11th October 2015 and reading it made our day and gave vindication to what we have been saying all along, that these sturdy Indian stray dogs if looked after well, treated with compassion, sterilized and vaccinated by local community caretakers, can not only act as wonderful guard dogs but also help spread the spirit of compassion around in this increasing self and selfie-obsessed world; for love is all we and they need actually!

All photos and text are courtesy Journalist Rahul Singh of The Hindustan Times.

Original Link to the story as published in the newspaper can be accessed by clicking on: “Yes, we can-ine: How strays are foiling infiltration bids along LoC

We thank HT and Rahul for reporting this heart-warming story, so beautifully.

A dog with a sentry at a post near LoC in Poonch_by Rahul Singh_HT_11102015
A dog with a sentry at a post near LoC in Poonch_by Rahul Singh_HT_11102015

They are neither pedigreed dogs nor schooled in specialised tasks, but are finding themselves increasingly in demand along the troubled Line of Control where Indian soldiers have embraced the ubiquitous mutt.

It isn’t a patch on well-trained army dogs used extensively in Jammu and Kashmir for sniffing out explosives, tracking and patrolling — and even bestowed with gallantry awards for their exploits, yet the mutt has arrived.

Commanders at the LoC are being encouraged to ‘adopt’ strays at their posts as the canines have proved to be tremendously effective in providing early warning about the movement of Pakistani infiltrators, says Lieutenant General RR Nimbhorkar, commander of the Nagrota-based 16 corps. It is responsible for guarding a 224-km stretch of the LoC south of the Pir Panjal range.

“They are the best sensors and have helped foil infiltration bids,” he says. Forget the hierarchies in the canine kingdom, the presence of mutts at forward posts provides a break from monotony and dulls the effects of isolation on soldiers to a degree.

A dog with a sentry at a post near LoC in Poonch sector_by Rahul Singh_HT_11102015
A dog with a sentry at a post near LoC in Poonch sector_by Rahul Singh_HT_11102015

A brilliant innovation helped Indian soldiers neutralise the threat of Pakistani army dogs along the LoC some time ago. A senior officer reveals how leopard urine sourced from a zoo was sprinkled along vulnerable points to keep the hostile canines at bay.

At a forward infantry mortar position after nightfall, a two-man HT team is greeted by a pack of sturdy mutts — with dominant features of the Bakharwal breed — growling and baring their teeth, signalling us to stay away.

“They recognise our scents and consider you to be intruders. That’s how they alert us,” says a sentry, standing guard against the backdrop of the LoC fence illuminated by bright LED lights. The lights cast a glow that can be seen from the distant Krishna Ghati heights across Mendhar town, once a hotbed of terrorist activity.

The canines have come to be known as ‘langar dogs’ as they are fed by the army kitchen.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Maoists and Indian Street Dogs, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

In defense of the street dogs of Kashmir

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/jkmassculling/
 
Dr. Asgar Samoon, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, had issued orders in March 2011 to kill all street dogs of Kashmir.

A qualified veterinarian, he has admitted to the Animal Welfare Board  of India, to requesting the ‘public’ to identify rabid dogs !

He obviously hasn’t let his veterinary knowledge come in his way. Carnage is reported to be occurring in Kashmir everywhere. Dogs are being poisoned and killed brutally in the name of rabies which is nowhere to be found or identified.
Mass graves are being dug and dogs being dumped into that. Any neighbour who has a grudge against another with a pet has now the licence to kill that pet dog.

Animal activists have demanded suspension of the Divisional Commissioner and appealed to the Veterinary Council of India to revoke his licence as he is not fit to be a vet. If you support this, please write to:
 
VETERINARY COUNCIL OF INDIA
A statutory body of Government of India established
under the Indian Veterinary Council Act 1984.
A-Wing, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan
Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi – 110066
Phone: 011-26184149, 26184354 Fax: 011-26182434
Email vciinfo@vhub.nic.in
 
 
AWBI has also send notice to Dr. Samoon which is attached here.

Below are presented a series of articles that explan why Kashmir needs its street dogs…in a state which has been marred by violence, bloodshed and terrorism all these years, this state provoked bloodshed of innocent animals will only bring in more misery to the state. Read on..

Article in Greater Kashmir

Srinagar needs its street dogs. Here’s why

Other opinion by Lisa Warden

Do you consider street dogs to be a barking, snarling, stinking menace? Do you wish they would all just get hauled off somewhere and be made to disappear? Perhaps you’re even one of the many people who support the poisoning of dogs. If so, then you are doing yourself and your family a distinct disservice. This is why:

People still die every year in India from rabies, the majority of those due to bites from infected dogs. Death from rabies is completely preventable; it’s a disease that has been eradicated in many parts of the world. Ironically, the best defense against rabies is not the absence of dogs, but their presence – the presence of vaccinated dogs, that is. Dogs that have been vaccinated against rabies actually serve to protect the human inhabitants of their neighborhoods from the disease.

How? Simple. Dogs are territorial creatures. They do not allow new dogs to migrate into their areas. If, in addition to anti-rabies vaccination, the dogs have been sterilized, they will not reproduce, and the dog population in your area will decrease naturally over time. The average life expectancy of a dog in urban India is only 3.4 years.

 The killing of dogs does not work as a population control policy. It has never worked anywhere in the world that it has been undertaken, even when the numbers of dogs killed are in the tens of thousands. This is because dogs are so fertile that they simply repopulate the existing habitat in the subsequent breeding season.

 Furthermore, in cities like Srinagar, where public sanitation is still a work in progress and there is ample garbage lying around, dogs perform an essential service, that of waste processing. Garbage is habitat. If there are no dogs in a place with lots of uncollected waste, nature will fill the vacuum with some other scavenger, inevitably one that is more problematic in its relationship to humans. Take what happened in Surat in 1994. The municipal authority made the decision to kill thousands of dogs. Cause led to effect: the rat population, all of a sudden blessed with a massive increase in available food (garbage), and thousands fewer predators (dogs), exploded. Bubonic plague eventually arrived on the scene, and hundreds of people were infected. Fifty-seven people died.

Are dogs ever a menace? Yes, and those that engage in bonafide, unprovoked, biting attacks on humans need to be removed from the population. This needs to be done by qualified animal welfare workers. However, the two most significant factors that result in dog bites – migration and mating – are actually exacerbated by killing or removing dogs, and failing miserably at the sterilization project.

Let me reiterate, if Kashmiris are serious about addressing the “dog menace” in their cities, killing dogs categorically will not work. This has been proven time and again the world over. The only solution that has been scientifically proven to eradicate rabies and decrease the street dog population has been large-scale sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination. Further, it is essential to the success of any intervention that the dogs be put back in their original locations following sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination.

 Whether you love dogs or hate them, it is in your best interests to let your neighborhood dogs live in peace exactly where they are. You just need to ensure your municipal authority does its duty by sterilizing and vaccinating those dogs. Things will not get better until 75 per cent of the street dog population of Srinagar has been sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and left in peace, and until the municipal authority implements proper waste management reform.

 (The author Lisa Warden is founder and director of DOGSTOP, a non-profit advisory group dedicated to rabies eradication and street dog population management in India. She also serves as advisor to ABC India, a pan-Indian organization devoted to the control of street dog populations throughout the country via large-scale sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination.)

Article in The Pioneer

Mass killing of loC that guard Kashmir

By Hiranmay Karlekar

The slaughter of street dogs in the Kashmir Valley calls for a full inquiry. The hapless animals served as watchdogs for the Army against infiltrators crossing the LoC and alerted security forces whenever danger was afoot.

The reported mass killing of stray dogs in Srinagar merits a serious probe. On September 22, 2009, a report in The Times of India by Ajay Sura had stated that stray dogs had become watchdogs for the Army against infiltrators crossing the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir. The report quoted Lt-Col NK Airy, spokesperson for the Army’s Tenth Division, as saying that these dogs recognised troops and local civilians and started barking whenever there was any movement of strangers. They were quick to train, easy to maintain, did not take a huge amount to procure and could not be recognised by the infiltrators as Army dogs.

Many Army officers have testified to the invaluable role of such dogs. One of them is Mr Habib Rehman, who began life in the Army and retired as the head of a well-known hotel chain. In his touching book, A Home for Gori, about a dog who adopted his family and became a deeply-loved member, he narrates how his love for dogs was awakened by his acquaintance with Bullet, which he made as a Second-Lieutenant posted in what is now Arunachal Pradesh. Every Army picket from the LoC in the north-west to Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east, had a dog like Bullet, a mongrel of Bhutia origin of the kind found all along the Himalayan ranges, as an additional member, rendering signal service in alerting it to an enemy’s approach and any other threats. A deep bond invariably develops between such canines and Army personnel.

In an article entitled The dog that did India proud in The Pioneer of March 24, 2007, Major-General Ashok Mehta (Retd) wrote fondly about Krupa, a Bakerwal puppy, who was picked up in 1963 and lovingly reared by a unit of the Gorkha Rifles serving along the LoC, then called the Ceasefire Line. Krupa did yeoman service not only with it but also the Sikh and Garhwal regiments that followed

Law enforcing authorities everywhere have acknowledged the important role played by stray dogs. As Director-General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, Mr Swaranjit Sen had advised police stations to adopt stray dogs for being alerted against approaching Maoists. Not surprisingly, Maoists in West Bengal had asked villagers to kill all village dogs. Even earlier, terrorists coming across the Line of Control had asked villagers close to it to kill their dogs; so had terrorists in Punjab.

The point in mentioning all this is the recent report in several newspapers of Sajjad Afghani, an important leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, being killed along with this bodyguard, Omar Bilal, by the Jammu & Kashmir Police in an encounter on March 10. The reports quoted Mr RM Sahai, Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir, as saying that they were trying to set up a base in Srinagar “to carry out big strikes in the future on security force installations”. Was the killing of stray dogs meant to facilitate the strikes? The matter needs to be investigated because of the State Government’s shocking delay in entering into a partnership with the Animal Welfare Board of India in implementing the canine Animal Birth Control programme, the only effective means of controlling stray dog populations.

Terrorists have reason to oppose the programme which involves the neutering and vaccination (against rabies) of stray dogs and their return to where they had been picked up from. Implemented area-wise, it is calculated to taper off a city or State’s stray dog population as the neutered and vaccinated dogs live out their life-spans. This means that they will continue to remain in their areas for some years and continue to alert security forces to the approach of terrorists who, one hopes, would be routed by the time the dogs live out their biological life-spans.

On the other hand, as the Guidelines for Dog Population Management, jointly released by the World Health Organisation and the World Society for the Protection of Animals in 1990, killing never succeeds in providing a solution. What it can do, however, is a temporary reduction of stray dog populations in specific areas and thus help terrorist strikes. Is this the reason why some in Jammu & Kashmir oppose the implementation of the ABC programme and favour killing? If so, who are they? One needs to find out.

Article in The Pioneer

Stray dogs alert terrorists’ approach

By Hiranmay Karlekar

As several authorities cite that stray dogs warn of approaching terrorists, there is every possibility that terrorists are orchestrating not only a mass hysteria against stray dogs in Kashmir but also the demand for their killing

A report in Greater Kashmir of April 21, 2011, states, “The police top brass (on) Wednesday dispelled the notion given by some media agencies that the elimination of stray dogs would facilitate a rise in militancy”. The report did not mention the name of the agencies but carried quotes from my column in The Pioneer of 17 March on the mass killing of stray dogs in Srinagar, which clearly indicated that the reference was to the latter. The report further quoted a Deputy Inspector General of Jammu & Kashmir Police as saying that there was no relationship between stray dog populations and militancy, which were altogether different issues. It quoted the DIG, who described “dog menace” as a big issue”, as saying that it was for bodies like the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to “get rid of the problem.” The police was ready to help them in whatever way they wanted.

I will begin with reference to my column. The part of it which referred to terrorism in Kashmir, mentioned among other things, media accounts of the death of a JeM militant and his driver in an encounter with the police on March 10, and added, “The reports quoted Mr RM Sahai, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, as saying that they were trying to set up a base in Srinagar ‘to carry out big strikes in the future on security force installations.’ Was the killing of stray dogs meant to facilitate the strikes?” Clearly, I was referring to efforts to set up bases to carry out big strikes and not, repeat not, increasing militancy. The two are entirely different things.

A terrorist strike is a single act. It is a part of militancy, which is a complex and wider phenomenon. At one level, militancy is the state of mind which is a blend of alienation, anger and aggression, prone to explode in violence. Since violence is an expression of militancy, the latter at the social context connotes a situation created by violence and the aggression associated with militancy. An increase in militancy means a rise in the incidence of militancy-related violence and the number of militants, as well as the spread and intensification of the aggressive mindset associated with militancy.

A single terrorist strike — or several strikes — however severe, need not indicate increasing militancy if more strikes do not follow. It is easier to organise a single or a couple of terrorist strikes than sustaining an increase in the level of militancy which requires the establishment of an infrastructure for procuring funds, arms, ammunition, explosives and the provision of electronic communication facilities through emails, phones and so on. It also requires propaganda for the militants’ cause, recruitment, training and indoctrination of terrorists and the organisation of shelters, false travel and identification documents, and storage of arms, explosives and so on. Nine-eleven in the United States and 7/11 (attacks on London’ underground subway system) in 2005 sent shockwaves throughout the world but did not lead to rising level of militancy in America and Britain.

Surprise is critical to the success of terrorist strikes. It can be neutralised by an efficient intelligence set-up which collects advance information and pre-empts terror strikes and destroys terrorists’ infrastructure. Equally, a strike can be neutralised if an alert is sounded as terrorists approach their target, enabling the security forces to repulse them. As several authorities cited in my column aver, stray dogs sound precisely such an alert. There is, therefore, every possibility that terrorists are orchestrating not only a mass hysteria against stray dogs in Kashmir but also the demand for their killing.

It is possible that the reporter, who did not understand what I had written, had also failed to understand what the DIG had said. If, however, the latter did say what he reportedly has, then he has betrayed a very narrow and conventional approach to counter-terrorism which ignores the complex and mutli-dimensional nature of the challenge. Referring to terrorism in India, Maj-Gen (Retd) Afsir Karim writes in his contribution entitled “Terrorism: the Indian Experience”, in Confronting Terrorism edited by Mr Maroof Raza, “The challenges of internal destabilisation, subversion, creation of administrative and economic chaos, and engineering divisions among diverse socio-political and ethnic groups cannot be met by conventional responses.” No further comments.

Posted in Maoists and Indian Street Dogs, News Reports, Street Dogs of India

Maoists killing Street Dogs: News Reports filed from different Indian states in March 2010

Red Terror hits street dogs of India!

Street Dogs in India are known to be the most intelligent dogs in the world..no wonder police commissioners in many states have instructed local police stations to befriend the neighbourhood street dogs so that they can alert them to the threat of attack by naxals or other anti-social elements.

There have been cases reported of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir resorting to killing village dogs prior to infiltering into a village to set up base. Now, the below news clipping (February 26th, 2010 dated news clipping in The Times of India, Chennai Edition) points out to what Naxals are resorting to ahead of police actions, the Maoists are killing street dogs and pets because they bark at them for obvious reasons and that ends up alerting the police of their presence.

naxals-kill-street-dogs-and-pet-animals-to-keep-them-safe-from-police-action1

One would think that only innocent people are being targeted by the Naxals and the Terrorists, well, that’s not true, no one knows how many dogs have lost their lives at their hands uptil now. The terrorists and naxals are known to kill street dogs before they plan an assault/attach on a human residential area. This is because street dogs being so territorial and guarding of their area will bark at the first ‘sniff’ trouble/threat that they sense from ‘outsiders’. So, please understand that the street dog you may be maligning or terming a nuisance, just because it barks, is not ‘barking without a valid reason’, he is guarding your homes, the streets in the neighbourhood from untoward people and incidents and alerting you instead. So, the next time you hear a dog barking, make an effort to understand whom he is trying to warn you against and be vigilant.

Hail the Indian street dog! 

Make an effort to look at your community street dogs with a bit of respect and also look after them, for unknown to many of us, they keep many of us safe from unwanted elements, robberies and thefts.

Recent news stories filed on this subject:

News from Jharkhand: 13th March, 2010

Maoists start killing dogs in Jharkhand, Bengal

Animal rights group sees red over Maoists’ ‘kill dogs’ call

News from Bihar: 12th March, 2010

Do not kill dogs, animal-lovers tell Maoists

News from West Bengal: 11th March 2010

In Bengal, Maoists train guns on street dogs

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Articles/Posts in Hindi, Maoists and Indian Street Dogs, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

कुत्तों के लिए भी संकट बना माओवाद

(Pics Credit and Courtesy: Prashant Ravi/BBC News)

केंद्र सरकार के माओवादियों के खिलाफ छेड़े गए ‘ऑपरेशन ग्रीन हंट’ के चलते, लगभग तीन हफ्ते पहले, पश्चिम बंगाल में पश्चिमी मिदनापुर, लालगढ़, बांकुरा, पुरुलिया और बर्दवान के अनेकों गाँवों में माओवादियों द्वारा एक अनोखा ‘फतवा’ जारी किया गया. इन गाँव में रहने वाले लोगों और आदिवासियों को कहा गया कि ‘वह अपने इलाके के सारे पालतू और सड़क के कुत्तों को मार डालें नहीं तो उन्हें मार दिया जाएगा’.

इसी फतवे के डर से, और अपनी जान बचाने के कारण या तो कई लोगों ने अपने हाथों से अपने द्वारा लाड-प्यार से पाले गए अपने कुत्तों के खाने में ज़हर मिलाकर उन्हें मौत की नींद सुला दिया या फिर बेलपहाड़ी गाँव के निवासी तरुण सेनगुप्ता कि तरह अपने कुत्तों को अपने रिश्तेदारों के पास दूसरे गाँव में भेज दिया. एक तरफ अगर पश्चिम बंगाल के सिलदा गाँव में लगे पुलिस कैंप में दिन-दहाड़े माओवादी हमला कर बीसियों पुलिस वालों को मार-गिरा सकते हैं, तो ऐसे में आखिर गाँव वाले करें भी तो क्या- अपनी जान बचाएं या अपने कुत्तों की?

माओवादी आन्दोलन का जन्म 1967 में पश्चिम बंगाल के ही नक्सलबाड़ी गाँव से शुरू हुआ था जिसने आज इतना आतंकी रूप ले लिया है.  अब सरकार और माओवादियों के बीच में बैर क्यों है, यह तो हममें से कई लोग जानते हैं, पर आखिर पालतू एवं गली के कुत्तों से इन नक्सलियों का क्या बैर है? इसका कारण है सिर्फ एक, अपने इलाके में बसने वाले इंसानों के द्वारा डाले गए भोजन से पलने वाले यह कुत्ते इन गाँव-बस्तियों के गैर-नियुक्त चौकीदार बन गएँ हैं, जो बड़ी वफादारी से अपने इलाके कि बाहरी, असामाजिक तत्वों से सुरक्षा भी करते हैं और इन्हें अपनी बस्तियों के आस-पास होता महसूस कर भौंक उठते हैं. कुत्तों की इसी भौंक से ना केवल गाँव वाले बल्कि इन माओवादियों के खिलाफ जुटी पुलिस और सैन्य बालों के कर्मचारी भी चौकन्ने हो जाते हैं. पिछले महीने में पश्चिम बंगाल में ही हुई ऐसी दो वारदातों के घटते शायद माओवादियों ने ऐसा फतवा जारी किया, क्योंकि अब इन कुत्तों की मौजूदगी इनके लिए घातक साबित हो रही थी. यह दो वारदातें अज्नाशुली और सालबोनी जिलों में हुईं थी, जिसमे कुत्तों के भौंकने से चौकस हुए पुलिस दस्तों ने कई माओवादियों को ढेर कर दिया था.

यह वारदातें अनोखी नहीं हैं. अनेकों बार इंसानों के सबसे वफादार दोस्त माने जाने वाले इन ‘गली के कुत्तों’ ने लोगों को चोर, लुटेरे, आतंकियों से चौकन्ना करने में मदद की है. इसका एक ताज़ा उदाहरण आगरा शहर से भी है. जनवरी महीने में ईदगाह और मोहनपुरा इलाके में दो दिन में 25 से अधिक कुत्ते मारे गए, जांच-पड़ताल करने से सामने आया कि शायद इन कुत्तों को चोरो के एक गुट ने ज़हर देकर मार डाला है, क्योंकि इनके रात को भौंकने कि वजह से वह चोरी नहीं कर पा रहे थे. इस इलाके के निवासियों कि बात माने तो इन कुत्तों के मरने के उपरान्त इस इलाके में चोरी की ढेरों घटनाएं हो चुकी हैं. इन से पहले भी ऐसे कई किस्से सुनने में आयें हैं जब पंजाब और जम्मू-कश्मीर में भी सीमा-पार से घुसने वाले घुसपैठिये और आतंकियों ने अपने डेरे डालने से पहले गाँव के कुत्तों का खात्मा किया है, ताकि वह सेना के जवानों को अपनी भौंक से सचेत ना कर दें…अशांत इलाकों में जमे भारतीय सेना के अनेकों दस्तें अपने कैंप के आस-पास बसे कुत्तों को खाना डालते हैं, और इनसे दोस्ती करते हैं ताकि किसी भी खतरे या हमलावर की मौजूदगी का आभास होते ही यह कुत्ते भौंक कर उन्हें होशियार कर सकें.

2003 में बिहार के जेहान्नाबाद शहर से 40 km दूर स्तिथ परैया गाँव की पुलिस चौकी पर हुए माओवादी हमले में 3 पुलिसकर्मी मारे गए थे. इसके बाद अपनी सुरक्षा के संसाधनों के आभाव से झूझ रही परैया पुलिस ने दस्त लगाते वक़्त गली के कुत्तों का सहारा लेना शुरू किया. सुनने में यह आया था कि इस छोटे से पुलिस चौकी के कर्मचारियों ने अपनी तन्ख्वायों में से पैसे बचा चौकी के पास रह रहे गली के कुत्तों को रोज़ ड़ाल-चावल और रोटी डालते हैं. गौर फरमाने कि एक बात यह भी है कि आज भी हमारे देश में हज़ारों गाँव में बिजली नहीं पहुंची और नक्सल-पीड़ित इन जंगल वाले इलाकों में जो बिजली पहुँचती है वह भी ना के बराबर है. ऐसे में इन पुलिस चौकियों पर तो रात को बिजली होती ही नहीं है, और इसी कमी का फायदा माओवादी संघटन रात को उठाते हैं और अंधरा होने पर वह इन पुलिस चौकियों पर निशाना साधते हैं. तभी रात को चुस्त-दरुस्त रहने वाले इन गली के कुत्तों की भौंकने की आवाज़ सुनते ही, यह पुलिस कर्मी होशियार हो जाते हैं और अपनी टोर्च जला लेते हैं. एस करके उन्हें अपने आपको माओवादियों से बचाने का मौका पा लेते हैं.

गृह मंत्रालय और Bureau of Police Research and Development ने भी 2003 में झारखण्ड के नक्सल-पीड़ित इलाकों में स्थित बैंक और डाकघरों को लाइसेंसधारी गार्ड और कुत्तों को रखने कि सलाह दी थी. विलायती कुत्तों के महंगे होने के कारण इन्हें रखना और ट्रेन करना हर किसी के बस की बात नहीं है, इसलिए यहाँ के कई बैंकों और डाकघरों ने पड़ोस में रह रहे गली के कुत्तों को खाना डालके इनसे दोस्ती कर इन्हें ही अपना रक्षक बनाया और अब यही दिन-रात चौकीदारों के साथ मिलकर इन इमारतों की सुरक्षा करते हैं. मई 2005 में आंध्र प्रदेश में हैदराबाद से 340 किलोमीटर दक्षिण की और स्थित ‘दुर्गी गाँव’ में गली के कुत्तों के भौंकने से सतर्क हुए पुलिसकर्मियों ने पुलिस कैंप को एक बड़े माओवादी हमले से को बचा लिया था. इस घटना के बाद तब आंध्र प्रदेश पुलिस के डी.आई.जी स्वर्णजीत सेन ने नक्सल-पीड़ित इलाके में स्तिथ पुलिस चौकियों के पुलिस कर्मियों को आदेश दिए थे कि वह अपनी चौकियों के आस-पास रह रहे कुत्तों को रोज़ खाना ड़ाल उनसे दोस्ती बढाएं, ताकि पुलिस चौकियों को माओवादियों के हमले से बचाया जा सके. जैसा कि अक्सर देखा गया है, पुलिस चौकियां और सैन्य बलों के कैंप ही माओवादियों के धावा बोलने के मन-पसंद निशाने हैं.

छत्तीसगढ़ प्रांत में तो इन गली के कुत्तों ने इतिहास ही रच डाला और अप्रैल 2009 में बस्तर ज़िले में आम-चुनावों के दौरान तेजा, करीना, सैली और लिली नामक चार गली के कुत्तों ने पुलिस वालों के साथ इस घने जंगल वाले इलाके में तब मोर्चा संभाला जब माओवादियों ने इस इलाके में ढेरों भूमिगत विस्फोटक मैईन (landmine) बिछा दी थीं और गांववालों को आम-चुनावों का बहिष्कार करने को कहाँ था…. एक सच्च यह भी है कि नक्साली इलाकों में 95 प्रतिशत सुरक्षाकर्मियों कि मौत IED फटने से होती हैं. इन चारों कुत्तों कि इस अनोखे मुकाम तक पहुँचने की कहानी कुछ ऐसे है -माओवादी गतिविधियों से प्रताड़ित इस राज्य में 2005 में छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार द्वारा CTJWC (Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College) की कांकेर ज़िले में स्थापना की गई. इसकी अध्यक्षता संभालने के लिए छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार ने भारतीय सेना से सेवा निवृत हुए ब्रिगेडियर बी.के. पोंवर को बुलाया, जो इससे पहले मिज़ोरम में सेना के विख्यात Counter insurgency and Jungle Warfare School की अध्यक्षता संभाल रहे थे. जुलाई  2007 में CTJWC के कैम्पस में घूमते हुए उनकी नज़र चार हृष्ट-पुष्ट गली के कुत्ते के पिल्लों पर पढ़ी. उन्होंने इन पिल्लों को उठाया और इन्हें CTJWC में Sniffer Dog की ट्रेनिंग देने वाले दस ट्रेनरों के हवाले कर दिया. आम तौर पर Sniffer Dogs की भूमिका के लिए विलायती pedigreed कुत्तों को ट्रेन किया जाता है (जैसे कि- लाब्राडोर, अल्सेशियन, जर्मन शेफर्ड, कोकर स्पेनियल और डोबेर्मन). पर इस बार पोंवर साब ने गली के कुत्तों को 9 महीने के कड़े ‘कुत्तों के IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Detection Training कुरसे’ में इनका दाखिला करा दिया. 9  महीनों की कड़ी ट्रेनिंग के बाद, यानी 1 अप्रैल 2008 को, यह चार पिल्ले – करीना, लिली, तेजा और सैली CTJWC के इस ट्रेनिंग कार्यक्रम से स्नातक होकर निकले. इस ट्रेनिंग में उन्हें ज़मीन में 6-12 इंच नीचे दबी IED को सूंघ के पहचानने की ट्रेनिंग दी गयी थी. इन चारों की काबलियत से प्रसन्नचित होकर दो और गली के कुत्तों- रामबो और मिल्ली को ट्रेनिंग course में शामिल कर लिया था…और यह तो बस शुरुआत है.

पिछले साल बस्तर ज़िले में चुनाव वाले दिन CTJWC  के अध्यक्ष बी.के. पवार ने पत्रकारों के साथ हुई एक बातचीत में इन गली के कुत्तों की माओवादियों से निपटने में सक्षम होने की खूबियों पर प्रकाश डाला. उन्होंने बताया कि गली के कुत्तों को ऐसे कार्यों में ट्रेन करने के अनेक फायदे है, पहला यह कि जहाँ कुत्तों की pedigreed प्रजातियों के पिल्ले बाज़ार में 85,000-1,25000 रूपये प्रति मिलते हैं, जबकि गली के कुत्ते मुफ्त हैं! इसके इलावा यह गली के कुत्ते होशियार हैं, समझदार हैं, चुस्त-दरुस्त हैं, रात को भी ऑपरेशन के दौरान इनकी आँख नहीं लगती और यह सतर्क रहते हैं..साथ ही इन्हें इन इलाकों के अधिक तापमान में रहने कि आदत है, घने-जंगली और मुश्किल इलाकों में यह स्फूर्ति से घूम-चल पाते हैं..यहाँ तक कि कभी कभी एक दन में 25 किलोमीटर तक चलने में भी यह गली के कुत्ते सक्षम पाए गए हैं और नक्सल पीड़ित जंगली इलाकों में घूमते वक़्त ना तो यह गर्मी से परेशान होते हैं और ना ही बीमार होकर वेट डॉक्टर का खर्चा बढ़ाते हैं..अक्सर गर्मी के कारण अल्सेशियन और लाब्राडोर कुत्ते (sniffer dogs) जंगल में बीमार पड़ गए हैं, जिससे पुलिसकर्मियों को कभी-कभी परेशानी हुई है..क्योंकि कई बार नक्सालियों के खिलाफ कार्यवाही कई दिनों तक जंगल में चलती है और बीमार कुत्तों को लेकर घूमने में परेशानी भी हो जाती है…ऐसे में पोंवर साहब कहते हैं, “आखिरकार यह गली के कुत्ते लोकल हैं, अपने इलाके से प्रेम करते हैं और इसकी सुरक्षा के प्रति वफादार हैं, यह हमारी नाक नहीं कटवा सकते. साथ ही हमें यह समझना पड़ेगा कि अशांत, आतंक और नक्सल पीड़ित इलाकों में तो वृद्धि हो रही है और sniffer dogs की मांग और आपूर्ति में भारी अंतर है, इसलिए ऐसे में गली के कुत्तों के समझदार होने का, इनके असामाजिक तत्वों से निपटने में निपुण होने के कारण हमारा इन कुत्तों का सुरक्षा सम्बन्धी कार्यवाहियों में इस्तेमाल करना एक समझदारी पूर्ण निर्णय होगा”.

माओवादी इलाकों में तैनात हमारे पुलिस दल की हालत तो फिलहाल खस्ता है, आये दिन किसी न किसी के मारे जाने या सर काटने की खबर सुनने को मिलती है…हमारे पुलिस कर्मियों और सैन्य बालों के हत्यार पुराने हैं और अन्य संसाधनों की भी कमी है…ऐसे में जहाँ नक्सल-पीड़ित गाँव में बसने वाले लोगों के सुरक्षा पुलिस के हाथ में है, वहां ही इन पुलिसकर्मियों और सैनिकों की सुरक्षा शायद इन वफादार गली के कुत्तों के हाथ में है…पर अब तो इन गली के कुत्तों की जान लेने के भी माओवादियों ने फतवे जारी कर दिए हैं, अब ऐसे में क्या किया जाए?

Edit Page_Amar Ujala Dated 10th March, 2010
Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Maoists and Indian Street Dogs, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

*Criminal streak*: Killing of stray dogs by Maoists reflects the ultimate form of sadism

street-dogs


This article written by respected senior Journalist Hiranmay Karlekar* was first published in the *OPED* Page | Thursday, March 18, 2010 | The Pioneer

Killing of stray dogs reflects the ultimate form of sadism

What is there in common among some Maoists committed to a violent overthrow of the existing state, some bureaucrats sworn to uphold the Constitution of India and the rule of law, and some presidents of Residents’ Welfare Organisations? The answer is simple: The killing of stray dogs — or the ordering of their killing — which is prohibited by law. The Animal Birth
Control (Dog) Rules 2001, promulgated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, only allow for the removal of stray dogs for neutering and vaccination against rabies and their subsequent return to where they had been taken from. The Guidelines for Dog Population Management, issued in 1990 by the World Health Organisation and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, and several other WHO reports, make it clear that this is the only scientific way of reducing the population of stray dogs.

The logic of the animal birth control programme is that dogs, being territorial, prevent other dogs from entering their domains. Neutered and vaccinated stray dogs prevent un-neutered and un-vaccinated dogs from other areas from entering their territories. Hence, having neutered dogs in one area, those administering the ABC programme can move into another and repeat the performance. In this manner, an entire city, State or country is covered and the number of stray dogs declines steeply as each of them lives out its biological span of life. Then why the killing?

In the case of Maoists, it is a part of their war against the state. The barking of stray and pet dogs warns police pickets and villagers of their presence; surprise attacks are foiled and arrests facilitated. They are not alone in this. Terrorists in Punjab and those sent across the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir by Pakistani terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad, had asked locals to kill all dogs in their respective villages. Significantly, Mr Swaranjit Sen, when he was the Director-General of Police in Andhra Pradesh, had asked all police stations to adopt local stray dogs who would alert them to the approach of Maoists at night.

To Maoists, the killing of stray and pet dogs is a part of the collateral damages of war, which affects innocent people as well. There is a measure of truth in this. According to a report, a herd of 80 elephants is in dire straits in south Bengal as their return to their habitat is prevented by the presence of Maoists and security forces in the forests through which they have to pass. In *All Quiet on the Western Front,* Erich Maria Remarque gives a heart-rending account of the agony of horses wounded in World War First. The issue with Maoists is the deeper one of violence as an instrument of capturing power, which is unjustified in a country where parliamentary institutions for peaceful change in Governments exist and where even revolutionary changes in socio-economic relations can be wrought through constitutional amendments. As the results of the French, the Bolshevik and Chinese revolutions indicate, revolutions devour their children and seldom achieve their goals.

The problem with civil servants, particularly heads of municipalities who are aware of the law but still order the killing of stray do, is different. They display an utter contempt for the Constitution and an arrogance whose effects are felt in arbitrary and savage actions in other fields as well. If this makes them unsuited to holding high offices involving the exercise of a significant measure of power, their actions and the demand for killing of stray dogs by heads of RWA, also displays a genocidal streak.

In his seminal work, “Fear of Freedom”, Erich Fromm shows how sadism reflects a desire to overcome one’s own feeling of insecurity through domination over others. The most complete form of domination is over life itself which is realized through an act of killing. Genocide is the most grotesque expression of sadism.

Since a call for the mass killing of a religious community or an ethnic group will immediately fetch mass opprobrium, a substitute is sought in the killing — or ordering the killing — of stray dogs. Hence we return to the question: Can people calling for it be entrusted with offices of power?

*Mr. Hiranmay Karlekar is Consultant Editor, The Pioneer and Author of the book titled, ‘Savage Humans and Stray Dogs: A Study in Aggression’