Ghaziabad: Echoes of "azaadi", a slogan which, of late, has gained momentum in the country, were heard outside the Indirapuram Habitat Center here on Wednesday evening during a protest rally. Hundreds of residents of Krishna Vista, a high rise in Indirapuram, raised the slogan at high decibel level, albeit in a different context.
The residents of the high rise came together to protest against the apathy of the administration towards the rising incidents of dog attack in their societies. They chanted 'azadi' (freedom) alluding to freedom from the nuisance created by stray dogs in the society.
More than 300 residents swamped the main road of Ahinsa Khand I chanting 'Kutton se Azaadi (freedom from dogs). The traffic on the road was blocked for almost three hours until the protesters dispersed from the spot.
During the demonstration, the traffic police had to divert the traffic in order to clear the road of traffic jam.
Originally called by Shipra Krishna Vista, the protest was later joined in by the residents of Shipra Srishti, Shipra Sun City and Aditya Mega City. They told CitySpidey that they had come to show solidarity with the residents of Krishna Vista. They said they could relate with the problems faced by the society as they too were in the same situation.
Priyanka Rana, president of Aditya Mega City, said that the issue of dogs is relevant to all the high-rises. "We share the grievance of the residents of Shipra Krishna Vista and hence lend our support to them," she said.
The protesting residents accused the district administration of ignoring the simmering man-dog conflict in the highrises of Indirapuram.
Sudhir Srivastava, a resident of Shipra Sun City, made a common cause with Shipra Krishna Vista. He told CitySpidey, "Every day, we get to hear dogs have attacked a child or a lady. Our children are scared of playing outside. We are here to demand safety for our children," he said.
The protesters blame the People For Animals (PFA), an authorised agency to look after strays, for the dog menace. They claim their (the agency's) predisposition to soft pedal the issue led to the rise in dog attacks.
CitySpidey tried to contact the PFA but our calls went unanswered.
After the habitat centre sit-in, the protestors marched to Niti Khand police post and filed a complaint against a 20-year-old law student, Medhavi Mishra, and another member of the PFA.
In the complaint, the residents accused them of drugging the street dogs which turned them aggressive and thereby jeopardized the lives of the residents.
Refuting the claim of the residents, Medhavi alleged that the residents of Krishna Vista were playing politics over the issue of dogs. She gave an altogether different twist to the ongoing row. She termed the issue of dogs as a tool in the hands of two rival groups in the society trying to get even with each other.”
“They won't come forward to identify the rogue dogs. Their agenda is to wipe out entire population of the dogs to score some brownie points which could stand them in good stead in the next Apartment Owner's Association (AOA) election. They are targeting me because I'm standing between their agenda and animal rights," she explained.
Currently, the AOA of Krishna Vista is serving Kalateet period after it failed to conduct election after the expiry of its term in February 2019. The defunct AOA officials had earlier told CitySpidey that the election would be announced soon.