Over 500 residents of Nainital took out a protest march in the city alleging inaction by the municipal corporation and the district administration against menace of stray dogs and monkeys. Holding placards that carried statements like ‘Kutte Bandaron Ko Karo Pyaar, Par Hum Par Na Ho Atyachaar’ (Love dogs and monkeys, but do not torture us), students and citizens marched from Tallitaal to Mall Road.
The residents also protested in Tallitaal and raised slogans against the district administration and the municipal corporation. The protests were prompted by a horrific incident last week where a 10-year-old girl, Amtul, from Rajasthan was chased into a ditch by a pack of stray dogs. The girl who was on her way to Tallitaal bus station with her family suffered head injuries after falling into the ditch and was declared brain dead. She later passed away in All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.
According to Nainital municipal corporation, there are over 1,600 stray canines roaming the streets of Nainital. An animal birth control centre was set up in 2016 to tackle the problem and according to Rohitash Sharma, executive officer of the corporation, a total of 900 dogs have been sterilized since then.
In 2016, 774 dog bite cases were reported from Nainital. The figure of such incidents in 2015 stood at 1,093 while 568 dog bites were reported this year from January 1 to July 24.