Apprehending that paramilitary troopers deployed for the Lok Sabha election may harm stray dogs, an NGO has written to the Election Commission officials in Darjeeling to protect the animals.
The Siliguri chapter of the People for Animals (PFA) - an NGO working for animal welfare and headed by Maneka Gandhi - has sought the Election Commission's help to "ensure that no street dogs are harmed by the personnel in any way".
"As per our knowledge during the previous Lok Sabha election (in 2009), lots of stray dogs went missing from various localities of Siliguri. These dogs were apparently killed and eaten by few of the regiments/companies of paramilitary forces deputed in the city during the election period," said Sujoy Dutta, secretary, PFA, Siliguri.
According to Dutta, as per the Prevention of Cruelty Act 1960, section 11 (1) (1), mutilating of any animal, including stray dogs in a cruel manner, is prohibited.
According to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (slaughter house) Rules 2001, Section 3 (1), animals cannot be slaughtered except in a recognized and licensed slaughter house.
"As elections are knocking at the doors, one must ensure that this year no street dog is harmed under any circumstance by any personnel in any way. Clear cut instructions should be stated to the various regiments being allocated in and around the city," he told IANS.