On Tuesday night, the Ghaziabad police took legal action against four individuals, including a woman and her family, on allegations of sheltering stray dogs. It is reported that one of these dogs bit a 15-year-old boy, tragically leading to the boy’s death from suspected rabies on Monday.
Municipal authorities have issued a notice to the woman, a resident of Charan Singh Colony in Ghaziabad’s Vijay Nagar, requesting clarification regarding the vaccination status of the dogs in question.
The initiation of legal proceedings followed the filing of a First Information Report (FIR) by the boy’s grandfather, Matloob Ahmad. In his complaint, he informed the police that a neighbor had taken in approximately six to seven dogs, none of which had received vaccinations, and allowed them to roam freely in the vicinity of their home.
“These dogs frequently bark at children and sometimes even bite them. However, when residents file complaints, the woman and her family members react with annoyance. My grandson was bitten by one of her dogs about a month ago, and I, along with other residents, informed her of the incident. She reassured us that there was no need for concern as the dogs had been vaccinated,” Ahmad detailed in his FIR, which was registered at Vijay Nagar police station.
Ahmad further revealed that for the past three days, his grandson, Shahvez, had displayed symptoms such as excessive salivation, hydrophobia, and sensitivity to light. Shahvez disclosed that he had been bitten by a neighborhood dog approximately a month earlier, and a visible dog bite mark was evident on his leg.
“We sought medical assistance at various hospitals in Delhi and Ghaziabad, but none of them admitted him after assessing his condition. Medical professionals suggested that his condition might be a result of the dog that bit him not having been vaccinated. Eventually, we transported him to our hometown in Bulandshahr, where he passed away in great agony in his father’s arms,” Ahmad lamented.
The FIR was filed against the woman and her family members under Indian Penal Code sections 289 (negligent conduct with respect to animals) and 304a (causing death by negligence).
Multiple videos depicting the ailing boy and his father have circulated widely on social media.
Nimish Patil, assistant commissioner of police (city 1), stated, “The FIR has been filed in connection with the boy’s death due to a dog bite, and we are conducting a thorough investigation.”
An unnamed corporation official clarified, “The woman has submitted certain documents indicating that the dog had been vaccinated. Our investigation will determine whether the dogs were domestic pets or strays. In cases where a dog is kept as a pet, the responsibility for registration and vaccination falls on the owner. In the case of stray dogs, the responsibility lies with the agency contracted by the corporation for sterilization and vaccination. This agency is responsible for capturing strays and ensuring their sterilization and vaccination.”
However, the official did not disclose the vaccination documents that the woman reportedly provided to the media.
According to municipal officials, Ghaziabad is home to approximately 40,000 stray dogs, with approximately 25,000 of them having undergone sterilization to date.
Dr. Rakesh Gupta, district surveillance officer, stated, “We have instructed our healthcare personnel to conduct an inspection of the area where the incident occurred. It appears to be a case of suspected rabies. We are investigating the incident and will soon issue guidance to residents. Additionally, we will engage with the municipal corporation to take appropriate action.”