A day after two stray dogs were mercilessly beaten up — and one of them killed — by residents of Shipra Srishti, a society in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, police SSP Deepak Kumar has suspended two police officials for allegedly misbehaving with two female PFA (People For Animals) volunteers who had gone to get an FIR registered in the matter on the morning of April 11.
Sub-Inspector Pushpraj Kushwaha, who is in charge of the Niti Khand police post, and Hari Om Singh, another police official posted at the Indirapuram police station, were accused of indecent conduct, pushing one of the volunteers, threatening and snatching one of their phones and deleting video evidence in the police station premises. The two volunteers, Sumedha and Sumati Iyer, are residents of Aditya Mega City. Sumedha is the district president, while her sister Sumati is the managing director of PFA.
An animal lover living in Shipra Srishti witnessed the residents beating up the two dogs and killing one of them. She decided to keep the incident under wraps for fear that it would encourage other residents hostile to dogs to do something similar. The situation, however, went public when the Iyer sisters reached the police station with the carcass of the killed dog and faced misbehaviour from the police officials.
Speaking to City Spidey, Sumedha said they received an alert from the society around 4.30 pm on April 9, notifying them of the incident. They then tried to contact Pradeep Tripathi, SHO of Indirapuram police station, who could not be reached. The Iyers then contacted Pushpraj Kushwaha at the Niti Khand police post, who told them that he was busy and asked them to meet him at the police post itself.
Image courtesy: New York Times
“Kushwaha was in his cabin when we met him,” said Sumedha. “The moment we entered, he looked at us in a rather lewd way. When we explained the situation to him, he asked us not to get involved in the matter. He said both of us appeared to be from good families and had no business getting involved with this dog-rescue business. He then suggested we head to a nearby restaurant and continue the conversation there."
When the two women realised they were just wasting their time at the police post, they called Indirapuram SHO Pradeep Tripathi and decided to leave for the Indirapuram police station.
"It was 9.15 pm and we had the dog’s body with us,” said Sumedha Iyer. “We were standing in the record room, where all the paperwork is done. All of a sudden Kushwaha came in from behind and started yelling at us. He addressed us in an indecent way, pointed at us while snapping his fingers and asking us to leave the police station right away. I was appalled at his behaviour."
The Iyer sisters believe that when they left the police post dissatisfied with the in-charge's conduct, he would have thought they were rushing to the Indirapuram police station to complain against him. “Either that, or someone could have told him that a case from his jurisdiction had come to the fore while we were there,” said the sisters.
"He kept yelling at the top of his lungs and got really aggressive,” said Sumedha. “He grabbed Sumati's shoulder and pushed her out of the room. By then both of us had pulled out our phones and started recording all this. He got even more infuriated and tried snatching away my phone but I managed to pull it away. He, however, caught hold of Sumati’s phone and started deleting pictures and videos. Meanwhile, another policeman, Hari Om Singh, tried twisting my arm to snatch away my phone. No one came forward to stop any of this."
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"We were terrified. We decided to leave the police station and head to our Raj Nagar Extension office. While we were leaving, Kushwaha told us his uncle was a BJP bigshot and could get us abducted from our homes. On our way, we decided not to go home. But we didn't end up going to our PFA centre in Rajnagar Extension either, and just sat at a nearby busy main road to avoid seclusion. We reckoned if he could follow us home, he could follow us to Rajnagar Extension as well," added Sumedha.
Meanwhile, they were able to get in touch with SHO Pradeep Tripathi, who assured them of help. With his help, the sisters lodged the FIR. The volunteers also called SSP Deepak Kumar and gave him a low-down on the events of the evening. They also got in touch with Maneka Gandhi, other members of PFA Delhi and senior police officials of the state.
Police officials said an FIR had been lodged against Rahul Arora, Vikram and Raj Shekhar Pandey, residents of Shipra Srishti, under sections 428, 429, 120B of the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act, 1960. They added that investigations were on.
When contacted, Deepak Kumar, SSP, said, "Both the concerned officials have been suspended and will undergo departmental investigation."
TAGS: Stray dogs / Indirapuram / FIR / Aditya Mega City / People for Animals / PFA / Niti Khand /