Three days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met the families who had lost their children to feral dogs in Sitapur, another girl child was mauled to death by a pack of dogs on Sunday. With this, the total number of children killed by stray dogs in the last six months has gone up to 13.
The incident took place in Maheshpur village under the Khairabad police station, police said. The victim was 12-year-old.
On May 11, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said an awareness campaign should be launched against the feral dog attacks in Sitapur district. Yogi was on a visit to Sitapur to review the situation caused by the feral dog menace.
Shortly after reaching Sitapur, the chief minister made his way to the district hospital where he met the injured children. He next went to the Gurpaliya village where he met the family members of such children who were attacked and killed by feral dogs.
Speaking to presspersons, Yogi Adityanath said that reports since November last year had started coming in about the dog menace assuming alarming proportions. He said he dispatched the minister in charge of Sitapur district (Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi) and a team of experts from Mathura, Bareilly and Lucknow to find out the facts. It was found that the dogs were not domesticated but were very aggressive.
The CM said he visited the district hospital where two children are presently admitted. He later went to the village to meet the parents of the two children who had been killed by the dogs. Family members of the remaining 10 children killed by the dogs also met him.
Sitapur came under spotlight following a spate of dog attack deaths. It is estimated that over a dozen children have died following these attacks since November last. Two fresh cases of dog attacks were reported on Thursday from the Khairabad and Machhreta areas of Sitapur district.
In Machhreta, a six-year-old boy was injured, whereas in Khairabad an eight-year-old girl was attacked by dogs when she went to answer nature’s call. The girl received severe injuries in the neck and abdomen. She has been transferred to the trauma centre at the King George’s Medical University in the state capital where she is undergoing treatment.
Taking a serious view of these attacks the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday sought to know from the state government what steps it had taken to tackle the Sitapur feral dog menace. The state government was directed by the court to submit its response within a month.
A division bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Abdul Moin passed this order on a PIL ( public interest litigation ) filed by a local lawyer seeking directions to ensure identification and elimination of man-eater dogs and thereby protect the lives of innocent children and people at large.