One knows how much World Cup-winning Indian captain Kapil Dev believes in fighting for the underdog. It’s a story he lived through his triumphs with the Indian side.
The veteran all-rounder has now turned his attention to the animal welfare laws in the country after the news of a pregnant stray dog being beaten to death in Delhi last year.
Four students of Don Bosco Technical Institute in southeast Delhi were arrested for allegedly bludgeoning a pregnant street dog to death. Videos of the harrowing incident went viral all through October and November 2022 and also shed light on how lenient punishments for animal cruelty are.
“After the heinous and inhumane killing of the pregnant street dog at an educational institution, my wife Romi and I were shocked to learn about the inadequate animal cruelty laws in India. Being an animal lover and humanitarian, I believe that a change needs to be brought about,” Dev said.
Dev, who turns 64 on Friday, has petitioned the Supreme Court of India for stricter animal welfare laws in the country. The petition was filed through advocate Shraddha Deshmukh and shall be represented by Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi.
In the petition, a copy of which has been seen by Sportstar, Dev admonishes the legal system for not treating animals as victims who need rigorous data collection and remedies.
“Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, is without deterrence and Section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code is an instance of speciesism suggesting lack of moral worth or value in animals, creating a hierarchy between living beings placing animals as sentient as human at the bottom of the ladder,” the petition reads.
“The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports data on all types of crimes in the country through its annual ‘Crime in India (CII)’ report. There is however no mention of animal victims. Crimes of ‘cruelty’ under the PCA are clubbed in a miscellaneous category of Special and Local Laws (SLL) with no separate data. Animals are not treated as a class of victims for which any data is sought. Despite the fact that cases of animals getting raped, beaten, assaulted, tortured and killed are rampant, however, their exclusion from the national crimerecord, is a tacit denial of this reality,” the petition adds.
Dev also calls for better training of veterinary staff in treatment and evidence collection in such cases.
FInes for animal cruelty in India are often as low as Rs. 50. In harsher cases, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960) stipulates three-year jail term or Rs 25,000 fine or both.
The accused have been identified as Avinash Minj (24), a resident of Khanpur in Delhi , Anish Horhoriya (18), a native of Uttarakhand, Rahul Kujur (19) from Jharkhand and Guruvachan (19) from Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh. Police said the dog was tortured to death on October 30. After a video of the incident surfaced on social media, showing the scared dog inside a tin shed on the institute’s campus before it was killed, police at the New Friends Colony station here registered a case.