GUWAHATI: Several stray dogs and pigs were shot dead in Arunachal Pradesh’s Daporijo on Sunday to keep the town “clean” as part of “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.
Daporijo is the headquarters of Upper Subansiri district. Last year, the district authorities had issued an order directing the locals not to let domestic animals on loose.
The drive was carried out on Sunday at various places under the supervision of town magistrate Tanam Kyali.
On learning about the incident, animal rights activist and Union minister Maneka Gandhi called up the town magistrate on Monday but “he refused to stop the killings saying that he is under orders from the district magistrate (DM)”.
Upper Subansiri superintendent of police, Taru Gusar, told The New Indian Express that he had learned from the media that some stray animals were shot dead at Daporijo.
“Daporijo is a dirty town. So, a prohibition order was issued by the district magistrate last year directing people to keep livestock at home or away from the town. As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the DM organised a lot of programmes to create awareness among people. Many residents complied with the prohibitory order but there were a few who did not. As a result, the stray animals are roaming the town making it dirty,” Taru Gusar said.
The DM was not available for comment. Daporijo has a population of around 15,000. Tagin, Galo and Nyishi are the three major tribes here.
Meanwhile, Assam-based “People for Animals” slammed the Arunachal authorities for the act. “How can they do this to animals? Don’t we have the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960? We will not tolerate such acts,” said Sangeeta Goswami, chairperson of the NGO. “If they killed the stray animals to keep the town clean, let them also kill beggars because they too make a place dirty,” she said. Goswami said she would take up the matter with the Centre as well as the Arunachal government.