A woman in Bengal’s Midnapore town has sparked outrage after being accused of burning her pet dog in a fit of anger Monday night after it ate some meat that she had cooked for her family.
Police said local residents and animal lovers lodged a complaint Wednesday night alleging that Sumitra Behera (32), a homemaker, allegedly poured kerosene on the dog before setting it on fire. She has denied the allegation, saying the animal jumped into the wood-fired clay oven while she was cooking.
The Beheras had picked up the stray dog from the streets around four years ago. The woman lives with her husband, their four-year-old son and her mother-in-law. Her husband runs a shop.
The incident has drawn strong reaction from local people and animal lovers. After the complaint, the police exhumed the carcass which was buried on the banks of the Kangshabati river that flows close to the town.
‘It was my pet. I loved him very much. Why should I kill him? I was cooking in the clay oven using firewood. The dog suddenly jumped into the fire and sustained severe burns. I could not sleep the whole night. I cried incessantly while burying the dog,’ Sumitra added.
Local residents and animal lovers are, however, not ready to accept Behera’s version of the incident. ‘The woman had set an example in brutality by killing the dog in such a barbaric manner just because it ate her food. She should be punished,’ said Sushovan Ghosh, a local resident.
‘I have heard of the incident. Let police investigate. If the woman is guilty she should be punished,’ said Soumen Khan, district Congress president and former civic body councillor from the area.
‘We have registered a complaint of cruelty against animals. We are investigating the matter,’ said Amlan Kushum Ghosh, additional superintendent of police, West Midnapore district.