On a mission to prevent the “God’s own country” from becoming the “Dog’s own country”, Kochi-based Jose Maveli, who leads a campaign to make Kerala street dog-free, says he won’t stop killing dogs and asking others to do the same.
As per estimates, there are over 2.70 lakh strays on the streets of Kerala’s cities. On October 26, a 90-year-old man was mauled by the strays in the state’s capital Thiruvananthapuram. The next day, locals organised the killing of a number of dogs. Maveli had claimed that around 100 dogs were killed by the locals. Though police registered a case against Maveli, locals supported him and foiled the arrest.
According to HT, Maveli has eight pending cases against him under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. However, he is “undeterred” and emerged as the face of the campaign against stray dogs in the state.
The canine crisis in the state is so big that the matter was recently discussed in the state Assembly. In the last one year, as many as 10 people have been killed in the canine attack and there have been around 90,000 dog bite cases, according to HT.
While the state government hasn’t been able to decide whether to cull the dogs or sterilise them, Maveli says people should now take things in their hands and make Kerala streets free of the dogs.
In September, Maveli was arrested after he urged people in Cheganamad to kill stray dogs. Some days later, he had announced Rs 500 award from anyone who killed a dog. Another case was registered against him in October after he had taken an airgun from an organisation that backs mass killing of dogs, according to the HT report.
Maveli’s actions have divided the society in Kerala. He has been accused of “fear mongering and provoking people”. Some have even likened him to a ‘demon’. However, he has earned a lot of fans too. Maveli told HT: “Killing of dogs is for securing the safety of men, women and children in the state.”
Justifying his stand against the dogs, Maveli said that people had killed several cattle when foot and mouth disease had broken out in Kuttanad (central Kerala) two years ago, while lakhs of ducks were culled because of the bird flu scare.
“Why dogs are not killed when they pose a grave danger to people,” he asked.