CHENNAI: Residents at Keezhamur village in Kancheepuram district woke up to a grotesque sight on Sunday morning last week. Charred carcasses of dogs were found on an agricultural field. Some others were found poisoned, strewn carelessly at different spots — like the banks of a stream or in a well.
“Overnight a village that had close to 100 dogs, suddenly had 15,” said P Ashwath, an animal activist who made the two-hour drive from Chennai on getting a distress call. As he found out later, this mass killing was the result of an act of revenge by a duo, Muthu (30) and Murugadoss (33), both brothers whose goats were attacked by strays.
According to Ashwath, “Close to 70 dogs were poisoned, out of which 50 were burned alive using kerosene.” The activist, an engineering student, who made the trip with two friends, Praveen Kumar and Sanjay Yadav, added that he had visited the place four days after the incident, but the carcasses were not cleared yet and the air was full of a foul stench. “By this time several crows, cats and birds had also died of feeding on these carcasses, so we put as many as we could find into gunny bags to prevent any further infection,” he said. These were later exhumed using palm and coconut leaves to dissipate the smell.
Apart from the burnt carcasses, it was found later from village folk who had witnessed the act that the other dogs had died of consuming portions of meat laced with agricultural pesticide. A police official at the Melmaruvathur police station confirmed that an FIR has been registered under IPC Section 429 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.