KOLKATA: The 16 puppies found dead on the NRS Medical College and Hospital campus on Sunday were bludgeoned with blunt weapons, a preliminary post-mortem report said on Monday, with the animals — all a few inches in length — dying of internal bleeding either from the brain or the stomach region.
A video of the mindless assault, taken from one of the students’ hostels on the campus, has helped investigators “identify a strong suspect” — an NRS Medical College and Hospital nursing student — who is seen beating up one of the defenseless puppies with a heavy club inside a walled compound behind the nurses’ hostel. The 28-second mobile video clip, shot from the second floor of R Ahmed Dental College Hostel, shows two women, one wearing a top and trousers and the other clad in a salwar kameez.
Cops and a team of hospital officials probing the case confirmed the place of assault shown in the video and visited the NRS Nurses’ Hostel backyard on Monday and spoke to students and staff living there. “We have identified a nursing student, whose profile matches that of one of the women in the video, after scanning the video. We have questioned her but she has denied being present at the hostel on Sunday. We will question all other residents of the hostel on Tuesday as well as students of the dental college who shot the video,” NRS Hospital deputy superintendent Dwaipayan Biswas, head of the three-member probe committee, said.
‘Injuries hint pups were beaten brutally’
Cops have slapped stringent non-bailable sections but against yet-tobe-identified persons following separate complaints from animal lovers and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Cops initially slapped IPC Section 429 (killing or maiming animals) on Sunday and then added IPC Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and Section 11(1)(L) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (mutilating or killing any animal, including stray dogs, in a cruel manner).
“We have already requisitioned the CCTV footage from the hospital and are questioning some hospital staff over the issue,” an officer said.
The post-mortem examination of the 16 puppies was conducted at the Belgachhia Veterinary Hospital, where the preliminary report suggested that 12 of them had a severe brain hemorrhage and four had their stomachs and livers ruptured. “The nature of injuries suggests that the animals were brutally assaulted,” a veterinary surgeon said.
Pet lovers and activists camped outside the Entally police station from Monday morning till late in the evening, demanding immediate arrest of the suspects seen in the 28-second video clip that went viral.
“The culprits have already been identified in the video that is being circulated across social media. The cops just need to identify the two women from the nursing college and arrest them. It is a clear case of mass murder and the culprits should never be allowed to get away just because they are women,” Sia Roy, an animal rights activist who protested outside the Entally police station on Monday, said.
KMC deputy mayor Atin Ghosh, too, criticised the incident and demanded a speedy probe. “It’s a heinous murder and police should probe into the matter diligently and arrest the accused persons at the earliest,” he said.