Maneka Gandhi Calls NRS, Orders To Expel Accused Nurses


Kolkata: Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development called up the principal of NRS College and Hospital and threatened to expel the two accused nurses, failing which she will ensure that the license of NRS gets cancelled. She also informed that she has already filed a complaint on this to the Central Nurses’ Councillor.

Two nursing students who were arrested in connection with the killing of 15 puppies Tuesday, were granted bail in a Sealdah court Wednesday. A police source said they will be released after a Test Identification (TI) parade.

Advocate Md Sajid, who represented animal rights activist associations in the court, said, “They were granted bail against a registered security of Rs 2,000 and a local of security of another Rs 2,000… The TI parade is likely to happen tomorrow. Hence, both accused stay in jail custody for today.”

While court was in session, protesters gathered outside the court and shouted slogans. Sections 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle or any animal), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of IPC and 11L (treating animals cruelly) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, are all bailable.

The carcasses of the puppies were found on the grounds of the Neel Ratan Sarkar Hospital in Kolkata.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) notified all government hospitals and medical institutes that it is planning to set up a camp to sterilise and vaccinate stray dogs on hospital grounds.

“We have informed government hospitals and medical institutes that we will be setting up sterilisation and vaccination camps. Many stray dogs are found in hospitals because of the food waste around them. It is better if they have a separate zone for these dogs. If we get any such proposal, KMC is ready to take care of it,” said Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh.

In a massive sterilisation and vaccination drive, 6,731 animals were sterilised by KMC in the last year. “We conducted two camps in each of the 144 wards in the city. Around 20,000 dogs were also vaccinated,” said a KMC official.

Sources said over 250 such camps were organised in 2018. “Sterilisation is important to prevent proliferation of the dog population. While the incident was heinous and inhuman, we also cannot deny the problem of growing number of stray dogs. Death count due to dog bites in the city has been zero since 2013. In 2011, 43 people had died of animal bites,” added the official.

A three-member committee set up to probe the NRS incident has submitted a report at Swasthya Bhawan, and once the final report comes, the accused will not be allowed inside the hospital grounds, said a source.

Meanwhile, Nurses Unity, an association of nurses in the state, held a mass demonstration outside NRS hospital, demanding the removal of stray dogs from its premises.

“We are not standing in support of the accused, we are here so such incidents don’t happen in future. People are tormented by the presence of so many dogs on campus…We want authorities to drive away stray dogs, If not, we will hold a bigger demonstration,” said Parbati Pal, a protester.

Hospital authorities, on the other hand, said it was impossible to drive away dogs completely. “Dogs co-exist with humans in our society. We have requested KMC to carry out a drive and check the numbers of stray dogs, but driving them away…is a baseless demand,” said a hospital official.