Wagh Bakhri Owner’s Death – Gujarat Terrorized By Street Dogs
AHMEDABAD, (IANS) – In a tragic turn of events, 49-year-old businessman Parag Desai, son of the owner of the Wagh Bakri Tea Group, died of a brain hemorrhage that was caused by a severe head injury that he sustained after he slipped and fell while trying to escape stray dogs outside his house on October 15.
The incident has once again brought to light the pressing issue of street dog attacks and the mounting menace they pose in crowded urban environments.
Gujarat has witnessed an alarming surge in dog bite incidents, ranking fifth among all states in India for the highest number of recorded cases in the last one year.
Statistics provided by Professor Satya Pal Singh Baghel, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, and Family Welfare, revealed that Gujarat reported 1,69,261 dog bite cases, averaging 464 attacks per day and 19 incidents per hour.
However, despite the grim statistics, there is a glimmer of hope as data indicate a declining trend in dog bite incidents in the state. The figures dropped from 4.31 lakh in 2020 to 1.92 lakh in 2021 and further decreased to 1.69 lakh in 2022.
Notably, while the overall number of dog bite cases has decreased in the state, Ahmedabad paints a contrasting picture. Official records from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) show that in 2022, the city reported over 58,000 dog bite incidents, surpassing the 51,000 cases recorded in 2021 by approximately 7,500 cases.
In March 2023, the severity of the situation prompted the Gujarat High Court to comment during a hearing on a Public Interest Litigation that people are now unable to go for their morning walks due to the menace of stray dogs.
The court emphasized that it is the primary responsibility of the state’s civic bodies to address the issue of stray dogs roaming the streets freely.
In response to the court’s remarks, the AMC claimed that they were merely a formal party in this matter.
The court rebuked this stance, stating, “How can you be a formal party? It is the primary responsibility of the corporation to curb the menace of stray dogs.”
The court also pointed out that over 60,000 cases of stray dog bites have been reported in Ahmedabad alone, indicating that the problem extends to various cities across Gujarat.