Chennai dog cruelty horror should lead to a law that has both bark and bite

Lucknow-based member of the Animal Welfare Board of India Kamna Pandey is usually busy saving animals from cruelty. But when the two final year MBBS students of the Chennai-based Madha Medical college who threw a dog from atop a building were granted bail from the court, Pandey decided that to "save humanity'' from these two would-be doctors is an equally important mission.

Pandey has now started a campaign, exhorting everyone who is on the same page as her, to write to the 6-year-old Madha Medical College and the Medical Council of India to debar the two students forever. This is the text of Kamna Pandey's letter and many citizens have followed in Pandey's footsteps.

Image courtesy: News18

Image courtesy: News18

Dear Sir, 

As you know, two final year students of the institution Madha Medical College — Ashish Paul and Gautam Sudarshan had thrown a 5 month old pup from 3rd floor rooftop and filmed it while showing no remorse or guilt during carrying out the said act. 

In fact, Sudarshan was looking into the camera, posing and grinning before he flung the innocent dog down. 

Sir, it is a common knowledge backed by sufficient research that those who inflict pain on animals have a distorted mindset and with time they move on to deriving the same sadistic pleasure out of inflicting pain on physically weaker human beings like children, women etc. 

What is very disturbing in this case is that the two culprits are Medical students and even if suspended for sometime, will eventually pass out with a Doctor's degree. With a sadist killer as a doctor, it will be like giving them a 'license to kill'. 

Professions with a certain responsibility like defence etc do a thorough background search before giving the person any power which can be misused. A doctor's profession should be treated with no less seriousness. Are we ready to risk human lives in the hands of these sadists with distorted mindsets ? 

In light of the above, I request you to kindly ensure that the college and the Medical council debars them permanently so that they can never get a medical degree to satiate their sadistic instincts. This is also needed to wipe out the bad name they have brought to the esteemed institution and the entire Medical profession. 

Trusting in your decision and thanking you for the same, 

Kamna Pandey ( a citizen deeply moved and traumatized after the dog-throwing incident)

"Yes, the short term goal is to get them debarred. Not just because the punishment as per the law is quite ridiculous, but also because they are dangerous to society, if they become doctors,'' says Kamna Pandey.

Many in the medical fraternity are in agreement. Clinical psychiatrist Dr Purnima Nagaraja says it is a risk to allow the two students to become doctors, unless they undergo psychiatric therapy. "The question that will be asked is whether they will be empathetic enough. The fear will be whether they can be depended upon as house surgeons. The apprehension would be that if they are put in hospital, they may not be trusted to treat every patient with compassion,'' says Dr Nagaraja.

The college is in a dilemma. Its management admits it was also horrified by the video and equally surprised that the students got off so soon and so lightly.

Dr S Peter, Chairman of the Madha Medical College told Firstpost from Chennai that he is personally in favour of throwing the students out of his college. "But my college is affiliated to the Dr MGR Medical University. I cannot take a decision on my own. If the University, the Tamil Nadu government and the Medical Council of India ask me to stop them, I will immediately stop the students,'' said Dr Peter. The college has suspended the two students temporarily, asking them to appear before the three member internal probe committee, whose report the Chairman says will be submitted next week. The committee will recommend how long the students should be suspended for.

But officials in the Tamil Nadu government are not convinced that a move to debar the students will stand in court. A senior bureaucrat who is connected with the entire issue said, "The court is more likely to say that the students should be prosecuted according to existing laws. We all agree it was ugly but then there are no MCI guidelines that say that MBBS students should not be allowed to become doctors after such a case.'' Another argument being put forward is that no students from the medical stream, who indulge in ragging are stopped from becoming doctors, and that this is also ragging of a different kind.

The focus then, perhaps needs to be to pressurise the Union government to alter the antiquated provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The present law allows an offender to get away with a fine of Rs 50 and three months' imprisonment. Further, it is a bailable offence. Only a law that has both bark and bite can ensure that those who torment the likes of Bhadra, as the dog is now called, will face the music.

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Updated Date: Jul 08, 2016 13:57:28 IST

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