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A Community in Fear | Stray dog attack leaves 6 injured at Nawa Kadal

12:47 AM Jun 04, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
a community in fear   stray dog attack leaves 6 injured at nawa kadal

Srinagar, June 3: The quaint and narrow streets of Khanqah-e-Sokhta Nawa Kadal in Old City, usually echo with the laughter of children and the everyday hum of local vendors.


However, in the past week, the atmosphere has shifted from one of normalcy to one of apprehension and fear. A stray dog, fiercely protective of her newly born puppies, has attacked and injured six residents, sending shockwaves through this tightly-knit community.


It all began five days ago when the stray mother dog gave birth to five puppies in front of a residential house.


Against the rustic walls of the old neighborhood, this small canine family might have initially appeared as a heartwarming scene. However, what followed was far from heartening. The mother, driven by a primal instinct to protect her young, perceived every passerby as a potential threat. Her territory was the street, and anyone who dared to cross it faced her wrath.


Among the injured are school children, who, oblivious to the canine threat, continued their daily walk to school. "My son was just going to school when the dog lunged at him," recounts Feroza Begum, a resident of Khanqah-e-Sokhta. "He was terrified and had to get stitches on his leg. Now, he’s too scared to even step out of the house."


Feroza's son is not alone. Abdul Rashid, a local shopkeeper, also fell victim to the dog's aggression. "I was opening my shop early in the morning when she attacked me. I had no idea she was so aggressive. I had to go to the hospital for a deep bite on my arm," he said, showing the bandaged wound.


As word of the attacks spread, fear grew within the community. Parents are now wary of sending their children to school alone, and many avoid walking past the house where the dog has made her home. The narrow lanes that once bustled with activity have quieted as residents take alternate routes, hoping to avoid an encounter.


The residents of Nawa Kadal are at their wits' end. They have appealed to the concerned authorities to intervene and provide a solution that ensures their safety while considering the welfare of the dogs.

"We understand that the dog is just protecting her puppies, but we cannot live in fear," said Ghulam Ahmad, a community elder. "We need the authorities to come and help us before more people get hurt."

Local animal welfare organizations have also been contacted, but the process of safely relocating a mother dog and her puppies is not straightforward. It requires careful planning and resources, something that the residents feel should be prioritized given the immediate danger.

The incident at Nawa Kadal highlights a broader issue faced by many urban areas— the growing population of stray dogs and the challenges in managing them humanely. According to animal rights groups, stray dogs often suffer from a lack of food, shelter, and medical care, which can lead to aggressive behavior, especially when they are protecting their young.

Municipal authorities are often caught between the demands for public safety and the calls for animal rights. Sterilization programmes, which aim to control the stray dog population, are in place but are often insufficient due to limited resources and the sheer number of strays.

For the residents of Nawa Kadal, immediate action is needed. The local municipal corporation has been notified, and plans are underway to safely relocate the dog and her puppies. In the meantime, residents are urged to stay cautious and avoid the area where the dogs reside.

As the community waits for a resolution, there is a sense of unity among the residents. They have come together, looking out for each other and ensuring that no one, especially the children, is left vulnerable to another attack.

While the immediate focus is on preventing further injuries, there is a growing recognition that long-term solutions are needed to address the root causes of such conflicts.

United in their fear, the residents of Khanqah-e-Sokhta are also united in their hope for a safer, harmonious community.