Boy battles for life after being mauled by stray dogs

A six-year-old boy is battling for life in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, after stray dogs mauled him while he was walking through a street in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Boy battles for life after being mauled by stray dogsThe multiple canine bites have badly torn his face, head and neck. His face and scalp were badly mutilated. The attack has broken his facial bone and elbow as well. The doctors, who conducted emergency surgery on the boy, have put him on ventilator. His condition is said to be critical.
“The boy continues to be in a critical condition. We cannot say anything as long as he is on a ventilator,” said Dr Faruq Jan, Medical Superintendent, SKIMS.
The boy was playing in his neighbourhood when the incident took place. The family members came to know about the incident when he did not return home even after several hours.
Later, the family found him in an unconscious state with a pack of stray dogs surrounding him.
Meanwhile, the picture of the boy went viral on social networking sites and forced social activist Irfan Banday to start a petition on change.org. As many as 250 persons have already signed the petition appealing to Governor NN Vohra to look into the matter.
In the past few years, most of the victims of canine bites have been women and children. According to figures, over 4,000 children in the age group of 3-12 years have been bitten so far.
The number of deaths has touched 1,000 in the past six years. In the past two years, 80 children have become victims of canine bites in the state.
Officials of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) said they were taking measures to control the population of dogs in the summer capital, but nothing seems to be falling in line.
Two years back, the state government had signed an MoU with an NGO to enhance the number of animal birth control surgeries on a daily basis. It decided to open an independent operation theatre as well, but the sterilisation of dogs failed as the NGO failed to live up to the expectations of the SMC.
The SMC then signed a project with the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Agricultural Sciences (SKAUST) to provide a team of veterinary doctors for fresh sterilisation, the impact of which, people say, is not visible much on the ground.
“We are trying our best to control the dog population, the sterilisation is going on. We cannot kill dogs due to a ban,” said SMC Commissioner Showkat Zargar.
Officials from the Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM) Department of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital said they continue to witness the cases of canine bites. “There is no rise in the number of cases, but a few of them are disturbing due to a direct attack on the face,” said a doctor.
The increasing threat of dog bites had even pressed the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to term it “human rights violations”, following which a PIL was also filed.