On April 1, a postgraduate girl student at the University of Kashmir was attacked by dogs in the campus, leaving her with deep bite injuries on the neck. A student from Botany department was sitting in the Botanical garden of the campus for her project, when she was attacked. She was admitted in the hospital with class 3rd (severe) injury in the neck. The University of Kashmir has become a hub of canines with hardly any steps taken by the authorities to curb the menace. That the capital Srinagar is turning into a city of dogs is the most talked about subject but little ever heard by the people in authority. Packs of strays lurk everywhere in public parks, guard alleyways and street corners and howl nightly in neighborhoods. Walking on city roads early morning or late in the evening is akin to swimming with sharks. With concerned authorities (SMC) watching as a mute spectator, the stray dogs have found educational institutions as their roaming grounds. Dogs can be seen roaming and crouching in and around many other college and school grounds across the city. Lal Chowk, the heart of the city and hub of commercial activities, too has a fearsome share of stray dogs.
What can be more shocking: more than 20000 have been bitten by dogs across Kashmir, last year. Official records say that 20098 persons were bitten by dogs between January 2017 and November 2017. The most dog bite cases were recorded in Srinagar. The SMHS Hospital’s, Anti-Rabies Clinic received a massive 6825 dog bite cases. It is a usual phenomenon little moving the authorities to take measures to check the menace. Earlier staggering 80,000 cases of dog bites were recorded between 2012 and 2016. As many as 24 people were reported to have died of rabies during this period. According to official records, nearly half of the cases of dog bites happen to be the Class III bites—where the victim has one or further bites, scratches, licks on broken skin, or extra contact that breaks the skin. The uncontrolled population of dogs is reported to be the cause of growing canine-human conflict. The Srinagar city alone is reported to have over one lakh population of dogs. That means for every 13 persons is one dog. Treading in early morning or late evening hours is fraught with dangers of being attacks by dogs anywhere and everywhere in the city. There is no lane, by lane or street that is devoid of dogs, and their population is increasing at geometrical progression. If dog-population is allowed to remain unchecked it would, in the next five years, take over the humans and could go to up 20 lakh. One can well imagine the scenario. Gory images of a six-year-old boy’s face of Boniyar Uri mauled by street dogs some time back should have been chilling reminder to the state administration to wake up but they continue to be in slumber giving the impression that the suffering people mean little to them. School children are the most vulnerable lot to dog-attacks. Several school going children fell victim to the stray dog-bites ever since the menace surfaced in the city. At least 5000 children, most of them school going, have been bitten by dogs in the past five years. Dogs also pose serious threat to people who have to leave for work early morning or who go for early morning walks or return late nights from work. While stepping into an unknown lane during these hours is dangerous. What is equally dangerous is to enter your own lane. It appears that the government likes to relish with dogs than to rile with humans hitting streets very oft and on.