Mumbai: A 41-year-old man was arrested on Friday evening on charges of sexually assaulting a dog after CCTV footage from a housing complex, near Chembur Naka, showed him taking the canine into a washroom three days last week. On each occasion, he locked himself up in the toilet with the dog for five to seven minutes.
The accused, Ram Naresh Mishra, works as an autorickshaw driver during the day, doubles up as a security guard at night as an employee of a private security company.
“We arrested the guard on Friday after filing a first information report (FIR) under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (for carnal inter¬course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal), after local residents and animal activists filed complaints with us about the issue,” said SG Dal, senior police inspector, Chembur police station. “The accused was presented at the Kurla Magistrate Court on Saturday and is currently in judicial custody.”
Dal refused to reveal further details stating, “It is a disturbing case. We cannot reveal more details and the court will decide what action needs to be taken. We are investigating the matter and have already submitted the panchnama,” he said.
The complaint was filed by Asmita Deshmukh, a resident and secretary of the housing complex, who spotted the CCTV footage and took immediate action against the guard.
“We were shocked to see such a horrible act and immediately fired the guard. We informed the private security company about his action and informed the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India about the issue,” she said adding, “CCTV camera footage clearly shows the security guard making masturbation gestures and then trapping what appears to be the same dog, on different nights, for a duration of time in the guard’s toilet facility.”
She added that the guard had been working at the apartment complex for a little over two months. “It took us an entire day to make the police understand our complaint and they finally registered the FIR and arrested the man,” said Deshmukh.
PETA India plans to bring the matter to the attention of the security guard’s employment agency, seeking their action.
“People who are violent often start with animals as victims and then move on to humans. This case should, therefore, worry everyone,” says PETA emergency response coordinator Meet Ashar. “PETA calls for anyone found harming animals to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and requests the government to strengthen penalties for abusing animals – for the entire community’s safety.”
The owner of the private security company told HT that the guard had been arrested by the police before they could take any action against him.
“Mishra’s documents were thoroughly checked before we employed him. He told us that the dog’s fur was dirty as there is an ongoing nullah work near the building and he would take the stray dog to wash the dirt off her. If he is found guilty based on police investigation, the strictest punishment should be given to him because it is a disgusting act,” said DK Singh, owner, Pawan Security Group.
According to the medical report issued by veterinarian Dr Deepa Katyal, the dog’s vulva appeared congested and swollen. “The dog was in a state of shock and pain. She had a lot of pain on the lower half of the body. Her hind legs were trembling and showed unsteadiness. There was also bruising at the lower half of her body,” said the report.
Over the past year, a few cases of extreme cruelty to animals have come to light across the country. In Bengaluru, a woman killed eight puppies, while a medical student in Chennai threw a puppy from a roof and medical students in Vellore tortured a monkey to death that point to the need for harsher penalties, “This case once again highlights the need for stronger penalties for cruelty to animals,” said Ashar.