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2 yr old's death in Lutyens Delhi perhaps due to 'illegally breeding' pitbulls, other breeds

Counterview Desk 

Several voluntary groups* have said that shocking new facts emerge about the unfortunate death of a child at Tughlaq Lane, Lutyens’ Delhi. The two-year-old girl was reportedly mauled to death by street dogs on February 24.The girl’s parents wash clothes of the local residents, and they live in a shanty in Tughlak Lane.
The incident took place near veteran BJP leader LK Advani’s residence.
Following a media conference in in Delhi, the NGOs issued a statement stating that “investigation needs to be broadened to include the widespread illegal breeding of pitbulls and other breed dogs in the staff quarters of official bungalows and slum areas. These dogs are kept in pitiful conditions, mostly tied up, leading to the kinds of tragic consequences that may have occurred here.”

Text:

What was previously known: On 24th February late afternoon, a most tragic incident occurred in the service lane of Prithviraj Road where a 16 month old baby girl was found gravely injured. As per the FIR, the child was admitted to Safdarjung hospital at 5 pm where she succumbed to her injuries at 7:15 pm. 
The police was informed of the incident at 6:24 pm and reached Safdarjung Hospital to meet the family. The first police officer to reach the hospital has recorded that he found no eye-witnesses to the incident amongst the family. He has further recorded that upon returning to the alleged site of the incident, he found no eye-witnesses amongst the crowd of residents, onlookers, visitors and others who were present there. 
In the absence of any eye-witnesses or any CCTV evidence, there are a number of questions that arise as to whether there is any basis at all to connect the tragic death of the child with the area community dogs.

What has now come to light

On 1st March, Zee News released an 11 minute video report on the tragic death of the toddler. A team of its reporters visited the dhobi ghat and met with the family. During the course of the interview, a dog was heard barking from within one of the homes. Upon asking, the family denied any pitbull’s presence. As the reporters were leaving the child’s home, they spotted a pitbull being dragged away but when they asked about it, the family brusquely asked them to leave the premises.
Since we know that dhobi ghat is a gated compound in which approximately 10+ families live and to which the community dogs had no access, the most pressing question is: how did the toddler reach the spot where she was allegedly found, some 150 m away from the compound gate?
The spot where the injured child is claimed to have been found is directly within viewing distance of a 24-hour police lookout point based inside Shri LK Advani’s residence. It is impossible that a child being attacked was neither seen nor heard by his security.
Imagine the sound of 5 dogs in a frenzied attack. It has been claimed that this noise was drowned out by the loud sound of party music in the neighbourhood. It is significant to note that the child reached the hospital at 5 pm. The party was an evening function and there was no music until post 8 pm. Why did the family make such a claim?
The FIR notes that the child passed away at 7:15 pm at Safdarjung Hospital. In the Zee News video, the mother says the child died on the way to the hospital which means earlier than 5 pm. Why these glaring discrepancies
The police was not called immediately upon the child being discovered but but only 1.5 hours after the family had reached the hospital. Why this delay?
A pitbull
The site where the child was allegedly found cannot be confirmed by the police since it was not the police who discovered the child and nor was the police present when the child was taken to the hospital.
It has been said that this particular spot is a blind spot not covered by CCTV surveillance. However, given all the multiple cameras in the surrounding areas, it is impossible there is no recording of the activity including any entry or exit of these dogs near that spot.
Given that 10+ families reside on the dobhi ghat premises, it is difficult to believe that a toddler who could barely walk unaided could exit the premises unnoticed.
Given the family’s denial of the pitbull even after evidence to the contrary, the possibility of the pitbull’s involvement in this tragedy needs to be thoroughly investigated.
The investigation needs to be broadened to include the widespread illegal breeding of pitbulls and other breed dogs in the staff quarters of official bungalows and slum areas. These dogs are kept in pitiful conditions, mostly tied up, leading to the kinds of tragic consequences that may have occurred here.
For instance, there are 30+ pitbulls and other such breeds being used for breeding in the by-lanes of Paharganj alone. It has come to light only 3 days ago — an MCD safai karamchari has kept a pitbull locked in a public urinal in Meherchand Market.

Demands:

a) We demand that the pitbull inside the dhobi ghat is examined by a veterinary expert to determine its temperament.
b) We demand that the CCTV footage surrounding the Dhobi ghat be made public.
c) We demand to know the circumstances that caused this infant to be left unattended.
d) We demand an enquiry into the bludgeoning to death of 2 area community dogs.
e) We demand NDMC and MCD immediately establish a working committee which includes members of animal welfare organisations to identify and crack down on unlicensed breeders and pets shops as per Pet Shop Rules 2017 which they have ignored till date.

*Signed:

  1. Anjali Gopalan (Managing Trustee, All Creatures Great and Small and Executive Director, The Naz Foundation (India Trust)
  2. Geeta Seshamani (Vice-President, Friendicoes and Co-Founder, Wildlife SOS)
  3. Ambika Shukla (Trustee, People for Animals)
  4. Percival Billimoria (senior advocate)
  5. Shernaz Italia and Freny Kodaiji (Trustees, DogMatters)
  6. Kavita Rai (local resident & Feeder)
  7. Tilak Nanda (local resident & Feeder)

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