Two medical students from Chennai who flung a five-month-old puppy from a building received bail after being apprehended. The manhunt that followed a video of the puppy Bhadra being thrown off the building held the attention of the nation and led to Gautham Sudharshan and Ashish Paul being arrested. However, bail was given to them not long after they were arrested, sparking outrage and demanding stricter laws against people who harm animals. The current Prevention of Cruelty against Animal Act sees offenders being let off for as little as Rs 50. Is it time India pushed for strict laws and stricter action against people who show cruelty to animals? What kind of rules should the imposed by the authorities to curb this menace?
Rana Atheya, CEO of DogSpot.in: ‘Getting bail shouldn’t be easy'
I strongly feel that the laws need to be reformed — Rs 50 is a very small amount to let such offenders free. We often take animals for granted since they can’t speak, but I believe that’s why they deserve special attention. I think the rules should be strict enough to make people think twice about hurting animals. If arrested, getting bail shouldn’t be easy. Animals deserve respect and care — the law and the government needs to address this matter.
Kenisha Awasthi, Singer, anchor and actor: ‘There should be a minimum fine of Rs 50,000’
The basic requisite for a human is to be caring and compassionate towards other living creatures. Anyone who doesn’t feel compassion enough towards animals, according to me, does not qualify to be called a human being at all. It’s high time animal cruelty became a thing of the past. The Indian law should penalise the offenders harshly, or the cases won’t stop. We have to make the legal system so strong that these offenders serve the full jail time without a possibility of bail. There should be a minimum fine of Rs 50,000.
In the Chennai case specifically, those students should be suspended for a minimum of five years. There needs to be an example set so that people realise that they can’t get away easily when they harm an innocent animal. There needs to be fear instilled in the minds of people so that no one decides to violate the life of any animal.
Aparna Nair, actress: ‘Let’s do what we can to save animals’
The video was a heartbreaking one to watch. What was even more shocking was that those who committed the act were medical students; they are the ones entrusted with saving lives! I wanted that the two be severely punished, but to my disappointment what I heard was that they received only a minor punishment. I was brought up in a family of animal lovers. Once, somebody abandoned a litter of pups in front of our house. My father raised them and later gave them up for adoption since we already had many puppies to look after. Rather than campaigning and shouting from rooftops, let us all do what we can to save the animals around us.
Chinmayi Sripaada, Singer: ‘The need of the hour is to prevent cruelties like these’
There should be laws to prevent such cruelty. However, this also raises the question — how can meat eaters eat meat on one side and question animal cruelty on the other? If we are talking about being cruelty-free, we need to turn vegan. The need of the hour is to prevent blatant acts of cruelty like the one that transpired recently. I am an animal lover but I am no expert on the subject of laws and regulations. I hope the IRAs can work out the right solutions and draft suitable policies.
Tessa Vellara, Actress: ‘Offenders should be given physical punishment’
In India, just a few cases such as this one get noticed only because they are talked about in the media. I am sure that there are more such cases but they are not given much attention. I believe that if someone can commit something so cruel, there should be some sort of physical punishment given to the offenders so that they never think of committing such a crime again. It shouldn’t be about just imposing a fine of a paltry sum and letting them go. They should be punished and given some jail time so they never think of committing these acts again.