VELLORE: His intentions were good, but not the path he chose. He had a passion to help animals in distress. But it landed him in custody as he tried to turn his passion into a profitable business.
A 23-year-old Zoology graduate, S Karthick was arrested in the presence of Animal Husbandry Department officials on Tuesday for breaking the lock of a veterinary sub-centre in Mudur near Arakkonam and offering treatment to animals for the past three months. What helped him go about without being caught was that the sub-centre has not been functioning for the past few months as the government was yet to appoint a veterinarian there. As a temporary measure, Dr Gowri Shankar, veterinarian of Kilpakkam rural veterinary dispensary, was the incharge of the sub-centre.
The fake veterinarian, a native of Velurpettai, graduated in BSc Zoology from a government college in Chennai and worked as an assistant to a veterinary doctor for about six months.
On learning about the centre that had remained closed, Karthick hit upon an idea. He decided to don the veterinarian’s role and also make a fast buck.
“Karthick broke the lock of the sub-centre in Mudur and started treating animals,” said Arakkonam Taluk Police inspector Anna Durai.
He treated cows, bulls, dogs and goats and also collected anywhere between `50 to `100 per visit from the villagers. He seemed adept at his job, and administrated vaccines and injections to bulls and cows in Valarpuram, Kilkuppam, Kilandur and Krishnapuram, much to the relief of villagers.
Karthick kept the clinic open between 10 am to 4.30 pm, as against the regular working hours of 10 am to 1 pm.
A week ago, a bull owner from Kilpakkam took his animal to the rural veterinary dispensary, where Dr Gowri Shankar was working. The villager then told the doctor that the bull was procured from his relative’s house in Mudur, where it was last treated by a veterinarian.
A shocked Gowri Shankar, then rushed to the Mudur sub- centre and confronted Karthick. An argument ensued and Karthick was warned of severe action if he continued his practice. However, Karthick once again opened the clinic.
Subsequently, Gowri Shankar lodged a complaint at Arakkonam Taluk Police Station and arrested him.