A poster by St Thomas College Old Students Association in Pala announces a discount of 10 per cent on air guns to those facing difficulties due to stray dogs and 25 per cent to those who have at least one police case against them while dealing with strays.
And the group has presented their first gun to Jose Maveli, who heads Stray Dog Eradication Group and was arrested for killing many strays in the past. Mr Maveli, who runs a shelter home for street children in Ernakulam, is out on bail but claims he is “not a killer”.
“I am a human being. People approach me and I give them the numbers of various dog catchers who can help them,” he told. Contrary to his claims, animal rights activists have alleged that Mr Mavelli has been instrumental in killing stray dogs. In Kochi, a video has been released in which Mr Maveli seen leading schoolchildren in a pledge encouraging them to eradicate stray dogs from Kerala.
“God give us the courage and strength to eliminate stray dogs from Kerala. Stray dogs are dangerous…,” the video shows schoolchildren repeating pledge after Jose Maveli.
At the same gathering, organised to help people involved in the stray dog movement, a businessman, Kochouseph Chittilapilly ridiculed the Kerala’s top cop for taking action against dog killers.
“Police need to protect people. We don’t want a non-malayalee DGP who is enacting a comedy by taking action against people who have killed stray dogs”, he said.
Last week in Kalady panchayat, 24 stray dogs were killed, who said the killing will continue as long as dog bites do. In Kottayam, a group of political leaders had killed eight stray dogs and hung them upside down to poles while staging a protest.
Police had filed a case against both the groups.