Two Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) constables, stationed at the Central Police Radio Training Institute (CPRTI) in the national Capital, face disciplinary and legal action for allegedly cooking cats, dogs and at least once a langur, at their barrack kitchen. Last Thursday, acting on a complaint from another CPRTI officer, when the Delhi State Animal Welfare Board raided their rooms, they seized a dead cat kept in a polythene bag from the premises.
The two constables, V Vihuto Awomi and Vi Toho, reportedly admitted before the board officials that they intended to cook it for food, as it was normal in their culture to consume feline meat. The case once again brings out deep cultural divide in a uniform force and a metropolitan city. “It’s a criminal offence under IPC Sections 428 and 429 of the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,’ and the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Rules,” Abhinav Srihan, member, animal welfare board, told MAIL TODAY.
“Under the slaughterhouse rules, an animal can be butchered only in a designated slaughterhouse after being inspected and certified by a veterinary officer as healthy. This ensures that people do not consume contaminated meat and stay safe from infections.” However, Madhu Chandra, founding member of the North East Support Centre and Helpline in Delhi, pointed out that a uniform law is required for prosecution in such case because a lot of grey areas persist and there is always a possibility of harassment of northeasterners in the city.
“It is amusing and insulting at the same time that several political leaders have publicly made downright racist remarks by asking to ‘bring in people from northeast to deal with stray dog and monkey populations’. On the other hand, we never fail to despise and scorn Nagaland residents when an incident like CPRTI happens,” Chandra said. “I remember years back, the Delhi Police had brought out a book on ‘Food Directives for Northeast Residents in Delhi,’ which advised against even fermented fish and soybeans; I do not endorse what the Naga boys did. Only that the Delhi government must have a law to book them, or else it will be harassment,” he said. Meanwhile, the board has lodged a complaint at the Mandir Marg police station citing the act as a violation of provisions of the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960,’ among others. It has also reported the matter to higher CPRTI authorities. The raiding party also seized a block of wood with dried blood on it and iron rods, the presence of which the NAP constables could not explain. The raiding party suspects the wood was used as a chopping block while the rods were employed to kill “the prey”.
When MAIL TODAY contacted CPRTI, its officials said they have reported the matter to Delhi Police, which had deputed the two constables from their “pool of reserve officers” and the duo were immediately recalled. Venu Kumar, joint director general of CPRTI, which comes under Union home ministry, said, “It is really unfortunate this happened. We have also put up a circular in our canteen, hostel and main gate that such behaviour-weather committed by officers, trainees or sentries from the Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) are illegal as we sit on the Ridge reserve forest. Suitable action will be taken against it.” Kumar has also issued an official circular to this effect.
Venu Kumar, joint director general of CPRTI, which comes under Union home ministry, said, “It is really unfortunate this happened. We have also put up a circular in our canteen, hostel and main gate that such behaviour-weather committed by officers, trainees or sentries from the Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) are illegal as we sit on the Ridge reserve forest. Suitable action will be taken against it.” Kumar has also issued an official circular to this effect.
Animal activist Sonya Ghosh, who was part of the raid, told MAIL TODAY: “The complainant, who is an officer in the institute itself, told us that the two were in the habit of killing small birds and animals daily. They did this with the help of slingshots inside the forest campus. Allegedly, even a langur was killed and its tail hung in the room as a memento. We could not find it but there was a locked cupboard and trunk.”
The two constables reportedly told the board officials that they found the cat “killed by a dog on the roadside, and wanting the meat not to go waste, brought it to our rooms to cook. We are used to eating flesh of cats, dogs and other animals.”
DCP (New Delhi), BK Singh, said, “A complaint was received and we found a cat carcass. We have sent it for postmortem to find dog bite marks on it, so that we can ascertain if it was an act of killing or disposing.” A CPRTI official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told MAIL TODAY that several staff members often complained about foul smells emanating from the kitchen of the accused duo. The official also disclosed that the Naga constables were adapt at catching birds from the ridge area and routinely cooked them privately. The CPRTI staff that MAIL TODAY spoke to expressed happiness that the two constables have been shunted out of the premises.
Food habits of northeastern residents in Delhi have often inflamed passions. The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that hosts an annual ‘International Food Festival’ often courted controversy for allowing beef at the event. There have been skirmishes regarding missing dogs in Munirka and Mukherjee Nagar where local dog-lovers have blamed the northeast student population.
Source: India Today