Graphic video warning:
A disturbing video, went viral on social media, and can be seen in the story below. It is being used as it is a key part of the story.
A team of four young animal activists were attacked by a mob, in the Indian capital of Delhi, for rescuing stray dogs in the locality. A video shared by Ayesha Christina Benn, founder of the Delhi-based NGO (non-governmental organisation) for animals Neighbourhood Woof, narrating the incident, went viral on social media channels in India yesterday. The video shows her in a wounded and bloodied state, outside a police station.
Reportedly, members of Neighbourhood Woof, which is authorised by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to sterilise and vaccinate street dogs, were allegedly attacked by a mob at Rani Bagh, after an altercation with locals.
Benn and three others, Vipin, Deepak and Abhishek, were in the locality with a van for transportation of captured dogs for birth control.
Narrating the incident, while standing outside the Azadpur Police Station in Delhi, she said: “I am standing at Azadpur Police Station. We have just been beaten up while catching dogs. Someone came and spoke to our staff badly. We are supposed to shut up and take this nonsense all the time. When we decided to stand up, and for our voices to be heard, this is what is done to us.”
Benn’s face and clothes soaked were blood, in the video.
She also panned the camera to show her colleagues who were also injured by the alleged attack.
WARNING: Graphic video
She further added: "This is now routine in our country. This is what we have become used to dealing with. It's nothing new, this is what happens all the time."
Delay in registering First Information Report
The police initially refused to register an FIR (First Information Report). Benn also pointed her camera towards police officers, who were not paying any attention to the bleeding youngsters. She said: "This is how seriously we are taken”.
@naimakg_ posted: “Neighbourhood Woof volunteers Ayesha and her team who have done so much for animals were beaten up yesterday. Ayesha stands bleeding at Police Station and they refuse to register an FIR.”
As the video went viral, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal reacted in a tweet, saying it was shameful that “a girl who has been working for the voiceless creatures of god was assaulted so brutally”. Maliwal said that the DCW team was in constant touch with Benn. “An FIR has finally been registered. We will ensure strongest action,” she posted on Twitter.
According to news reports, the Delhi Police said that a complaint has been filed against the residents under sections 323, 341, 506, and 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Reportedly, Delhi Police in a statement said that at around 10:30pm, on July 3, local residents enquired about the identities of the members of the NGO. This led to a heated argument. “In view of late-night hours, local residents enquired about their identities on which heated argument started and a scuffle happened between them. Thereafter, when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, three local residents were hit by their car, and got some minor injuries,” the police said, in a statement.
After the video went viral, @DelhiPolice tweeted on Saturday: “Ms Ayesha Christine reported assault on her by locals at PS Adarsh Nagar at around 10.00pm yesterday. She and her colleagues were immediately provided medical assistance from BJRM hospital by Delhi Police.”
Delhi Police also said that further investigation in the matter is under progress.