On November 16, 2013 at 10:45 hrs, a local of Thamaraipakkam village near Chennai informed the Blue Cross of India that two people with guns had been shooting down the dogs of the village. The BCI’s Dawn Williams rushed down to Thamaraipakkam village immediately. Due to the heavy rains, no shooting had occurred on the 16th, but the locals informed us that shooting of dogs had been going on for the past two days in in the marketplaces and on the streets of Thamaraipakkam and Ellapuram villages. A local resident said that he seen two people with guns shooting down dogs and four people dragging the bodies dead dogs through the streets, and even dogs owned by people were shot dead in-front of their homes. When questioned, the shooters and their accomplices informed the locals that they had been appointed by the Village Panchayat. We found out after further questioning that Mr. Venketeshan, the Panchyat President of Thamaraipakkam village, had hired the killers.
Public eyewitnesses reported that about 150 to 200 dogs were shot and disposed off near the Kusasthalai river, and the locals took us to the spot, which was adjacent to a bore-well. Dawn hired a digger to dig the grave, but the local politicians, who had reached the spot by this time, threatened the driver/operator and even Dawn Williams with death. The operator of the digger left immediately, by which time the body of one dog had been partly exposed, but our Dawn Williams is made of more fearless stuff. Even the local youngsters who attempted to assist Dawn in digging the grave were threatened, leaving Dawn alone to finish off the task of digging by himself. Some local heavies stood around watching him and threatening his life, but Dawn ignored these taunts.
Due to the heavy rains in the evening, Dawn stopped digging at 17:30 hrs. He had exhumed about 60 dogs from only one grave, and being all by himself, stopped at this point and did the first thing a citizen of India is required to do upon discovering evidence of a crime, he went to the police, and took the carcasses with him.
He lodged a complaint against Mr. Venketeshan, the Panchyat President, and six others under Section 25(A) Arms Act, Sections 277, 278, 428 429 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
When he was in the station swearing out his complaint, about 15 local politicians stormed the C-5 Vengal police station and stopped the police from proceeding with our complaint. Their legal counsel was trying his best to convince Dawn not to file a complaint while the local politicians were trying to intimidate him with their loud voices and threats of dire consequences. The Member of the Legislative Assembly for Poonamalee also called Dawn, requesting him not to file a complaint and to drop all charges.
At one point in the evening, being attacked from all sides by the guardians of the Law, the elected officials, and even the locals, Dawn attacked them back, threatening to call the media to the spot immediately if he was not given a copy of his FIR (First Information Report) and a requisition for postmortems. At 21:30 hrs, the FIR was finally handed over to Dawn. The harassment did not end there however, as the local goons and the politicians followed Dawn’s truck all the way up to Red Hills junction.
21 carcass were sent to Madras Veterinary College for postmortem. Due to heavy rain the remaining dead bodies were left behind.
We at the Blue Cross of India are in complete shell-shock over this incident; not at the brutality of man in itself, because we’ve seen enough of that, but at the betrayal of us, the locals and the Laws of the Union of India by our elected officials and men sworn to protect our rights.
They threatened us, tried to stop the police from performing their duties, and even had the local MLA try to intercede on their behalf. The question to be asked here is how an elected official would be willing to intercede on the behalf of murderers in the first place, but the more pressing question is, in this day and age of education and easy accessibility of news, how much longer are we, the survivors of a once-great culture that has been destroyed by a corrupt and crooked bunch of leaders, going to tolerate this kind of nonsense?
Are not the people we vote into power given that power to serve us, protect us, and give us all that we have been promised under the Constitution of India? The question to be asked then is when will they stop serving their own interests and start serving us, the people whose grace has enabled them to acquire that seat of power in the first place?
One of the arguments used was that the dogs slaughtered were a menace to society? We at the BCI find it hard to believe that they were ever more menacing than the elected officials who had the audacity to threaten a citizen of India doing his constitutional duty in reporting a crime, inside a police station, in front of the Station Inspector, AND KEPT THEIR FREEDOM!
Either way, the time is now for us, the citizens of India, to reach out and protect our rights. We cannot allow the mass-murder of our fellow citizens (yes, dogs are protected by Law with as much right to live as any of of us) because tomorrow, it might well be you or me who is just as “righteously” murdered! The time is now for us to tell these villains where they can get off!