Mumbai: In a ghastly case which is being reported from Kharghar in Maharashtra, a man was arrested by police for allegedly raping a stray female dog and forcing it to have oral sex with him. Identified as 20-year-old Munmun Kumar Govardhan Kumar Ram, the accused was employed at a food outlet at the time of his arrest on Wednesday. Kumar was produced before a court on Thursday and remanded in police custody till August 26.
According to complainant Vijay Rangare, the heinous crime was committed on August 15 of this year. It was brought to the attention of Rangare, an animal rights activist, by a group of students who were visiting friends in Khargar’s Sector 4 area. Upon witnessing the accused penetrating the stray dog and forcing it to have oral sex with him, the students recorded a video on their cell phone and uploaded the same on the internet. Rangare spotted the video the very next day and decided to approach the police.
According to a report, the Khargare Police were reluctant to register a complaint in this regard citing that a video of the crime did not show penetrative sex and fell out of the purview of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which classifies the punishment for unnatural sex. This is when Meet Ashar with the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stepped in and escalated the matter all the way to the Navi Mumbai police commissioner and the deputy commissioner of Zone II. Following his intervention, an FIR was registered on Wednesday.
Police officials probing the matter said that the accused, Munmun Kumar, often fed the stray dog and the animal had grown familiar to him. The animal used to sleep outside the eatery Kumar was employed by, added an officer. Similar cases have come to light from other parts of the country in the past. One such instance was reported from Chennai in February of this year where a tea stall owner worker was accused of raping a stray dog while under the influence of alcohol. Local police did not register a complaint at the time citing a lack of evidence in the case.
In India, such crimes fall under the ambit of not just the Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 along with relevant sections of the IPC. However, those accused in such cases rarely land up behind bars for more than a matter of weeks despite the heinous nature of the crimes.