Ghaziabad: Two female residents of Shipra Krishna Vista, a highrise in Indirapuram, who volunteer for People For Animals (PFA), have been booked for allegedly intoxicating the stray dogs of the society. The duo have been alleged to make the dogs aggressive by giving them medicines which led to a number of attacks in last few days.
The complainant Alok Ranjan said that the last few months have seen more than twenty incidents of dog bites. “There are more than 25 dogs in the society and they are attacking the residents daily. When residents try to retaliate or take any action, the duo intimidate them,” he alleged.
The police has booked the accused Poonam Singh and Medhavi Mishra under Section 289 (negligent conduct with respect to animal), 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC.
However, there are more to the case that meets the eyes.
Experts Claim Irrelevant Sections in FIR
The experts claim that sections which police imposed on the accused are irrelevant in the case. Sumedha Iyyer, former president of PFA told CitySpidey that the two sections -- 328 and 506 -- can't be imposed if the case alleges cruelty with an animal. “The relevant act in the law is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, and sections 428, 429 of IPC,| she said.
Niharika Kashyap, counsel to PFA and current president of PFA (Ghaziabad) also agreed with Iyyer while claiming that the allegations against both the PFA members are baseless. “They are animal lovers. How can a person who loves animals can cause harm to them? Besides, these two specific sections are completely irrelevant,” she claimed.
Kashyap said that the PFA would challange the FIR in the court. She alleged police for working under pressure and on behest of the residents. “They (the residents) took out a march (on Wednesday) and put pressure on the police to lodge the FIR against our two members. If the police has thought this through, they would not have imposed these sections. They (police) are clearly working under pressure,” she alleged.
Anshu Jain, Circle Officer of Indirapuram refuted the allegation of police working under pressure. “We just act upon the summary of complaint we receive. The charges are imposed on the basis of crimes alleged in the complaint,” she said.
However, when asked why police ignored the fact that the two sections can not be charged in the case of cruelty against animals, Jain appeared to have no knowledge about it. “I'll get it checked and would get back to you,” she said. Besides, the complainant in the case, Alok Ranjan, and one of the accused, Medhavi Mishra share an uncomfortable history.
Family of Accused Claim Personal Enmity & Intimidation
Medhavi is a 20-year-old law student. On July 24, 2017, she had complained to the police against Ranjan and two other men for allegedly harassing and abusing her while she was feeding the stray dogs in the society. She had also reached out to former union minister and chairperson of PFA, Maneka Gandhi, with this complaint when she found no support from the police.
In her mail to Gandhi, she wrote, “I went to feed the dogs in the basement late at night as designated spot was removed. A man (Mr Alok Ranjan) stopped by and started fighting with me and then called up his people on WhatsApp requesting them to join him. About 25 people circled around me and started abusing and shaming me for feeding the dogs.”
Pallavi Mishra, mother of Medhavi, told that she was 17-year-old when the incident happened. She also alleged personal enmity and intimidation as reasons behind the FIR against her daughter.
“This is being done only to intimidate my daughter. She is in standing with the voiceless (stray dogs) and is being targeted just for being a good human. She is so traumatized with these series of events that I had to make her leave this town. I'm worried for her safety,” she added.
Sumedha Iyyer confirmed about the happening of the incident to CitySpidey. “I was heading PFA in Ghaziabad then. We were approached by the accused in this case to resolve it amicably. Since Medhavi was a minor then, we thought that the course of law could prove very harsh on Ranjan and other accused so we accepted to settle the case ourselves,” she claimed.
Alok Ranjan acknowledged the 2017 incident but denied the reason of personal enmity behind lodging FIR against Medhavi. “I lodged FIR under my name as no one was ready to take a lead. If I had not lodged FIR under my name, they would have continued harassing the residents,” he said.
“This is not my decision but the hundreds of other residents. The FIR is signed under my name but it is authorized by all the residents who are perturbed by the conduct of PFA and its members. This is just an attempt to absolve our cause which is gaining momentum across societies in Indirapuram,” Ranjan added.