Chennai: At least 50 community dogs were burned alive at Keezhamur village near Melmaruvathur, about 50km from Chennai, on June 5. The dogs were sedated with food laced with pesticides. Police said a few villagers killed the dogs which allegedly attacked herds of sheep and goat.
The incident came to light after a villager informed an animal activist, P Aswath, who uncovered the tragedy four days later. Based on Aswath’s complaint, the Melmaruvathur police registered a case and booked – Murali, Muthu, Murugadoss and Jeeva – of the village in this connection.
Police said the villagers claimed a few community dogs injured a few sheep and goats when they were grazing. Some of the injured cattle died of dog bites later. However, Aswath told TOI there were no traces of sheep and goat maimed or injured in a dog attack. “When I approached the village panchayat president and vice-president, they denied the killings,” he said. “But I have evidence to prove that more than 50 dogs were killed in the village.”
Aswath said the Melmaruvathur police did not take him seriously at first. “They seemed to support the version of the villagers. But the dogs were poisoned and doused with kerosene before being set on fire,” he said. Aswath said he saw the half-burnt corpses which were highly decomposed. “I collected the bodies and burnt them fully,” he said.