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What Really Happened On The Night Activist Ayesha Christina Was Beaten Black And Blue

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By Sanjana Sanghi:

Ayesha Christina, an animals’ rights activist and the founder of the NGO, Neighbourhood Woof, recently found herself amidst a rather complex controversy involving the Residents Welfare Association of Mukherjee Nagar in North Delhi and the Delhi Police. Ayesha was allegedly roughed up on 21st March by the residents of an apartment building, when she tried to pick up four dogs to sterilize them. Residents have claimed that Ayesha bit a man, when they asked her to show an authorization letter from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to pick up the dogs under the Animal Birth Control Program. Such allegations are, however, in stark contrast with what Ayesha has to say about the incident. As a result, both the parties have lodged police complaints.

RWA

Witnesses on several social media platforms, laden heavily with disgust, have written vividly about the event. Many of these posts describe the incident as a “night of horror” because the activist was thrashed black and blue by a group of women who were a part of the gradually accumulating mob outside the residential society. The posts also suggest that the police watched as this menace unfolded and later, snatched Ayesha’s phone, keys, and all the other valuables. Several photographs of the mob standing outside the Mukherjee Nagar Police Station, turning their faces away from the camera, engaging in a conversation with the SHO, while munching on namkeen, have been posted. Many witnesses have said that the police literally directed the mob on how to rough up the activist. The activist was not only beaten but she was also almost disrobed by the mob.

Veer Singh, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Mukherjee Nagar, has gone on record and stated, “It was not such a big issue. It was a small squabble. A complaint has been registered. It is pending.”

Ayesha’s version of the story

We, at Youth Ki Awaaz, got in touch with Ayesha to get her side of the story and a more comprehensive perspective.

Here is a gist and some of the excerpts from our conversation:

As Ayesha informed us, she lives in the residence building opposite Signature View Apartments and was allotted this space by the MCD last December for sterilisation and vaccination of the local stray dogs, as prescribed by the Central Government. According to Ayesha,“My own RWA accuses me of pocketing the money the government grants me for the dogs and believes that I’m not only responsible for increasing the population of stray dogs, but I also throw them away in some area, or poison them.”

Ayesha has also, often, been accused of possessing six-seven ‘dangerous’ dogs. She has frequently treated dogs in and around the area, and nobody has ever stopped her. She did not expect that the issues she had been facing with her own RWA would reach that of Signature View Apartments and spark such a controversy.

“As I headed there to perform my tasks, the MCD doctor gave me a sensible advice and suggested that I should make an official letter on the behalf of my organization, with due approval from the MCD, stating the course of the activity that I will undertake,” says Ayesha

Ayesha was unable to understand the cause behind the residents of Signature View being so difficult, she also reiterated that nobody usually has a problem when she goes to treat stray dogs, or pick them up. On showing the authorized letter by the MCD, the members of the RWA still did not believe her, suggesting that anybody could fake it, and she should get them in touch with the MCD directly. The MCD doctor then, called the RWA president describing in detail as to what exactly Ayesha was going to do.

To this, the RWA President said, “Anyone can claim to be the MCD over the phone. Tomorrow, I can claim to be Obama. Will you believe me?”

The MCD Doctor reaffirmed that he would have it sorted out and that she can head to the other areas and continue the work.

She, therefore, picked up 3 other dogs from the scheduled areas, and decided to pick up the letter of authorization on her way back, because the insistence of the RWA on getting the letter continued.

“After getting the letter, I decided to ask the nearby PCR van to come along with me, as I genuinely needed some help in dealing with the residents,” adds Ayesha

The police went along with Ayesha, but a larger number of constables and more residents accumulated gradually. A girl going into the society to meet her friend stopped to say, “Hey she’s only helping you guys out and sterilizing the dogs!”

The police stopped her and did not let her go and visit the friend.

Ayesha, then, called up the SHO, with whom an official conversation through text messages had already been established, wherein she had informed him of the constant harassment that she had undergone due to the RWA.

“The situation is getting out of control, I need your help,” she told him, trying to explain the increasing intensity of the prevailing situation. The SHO never picked her calls up after this.

In the meantime, a policeman, who was there, asked Ayesha to go ahead and pick up the dogs, reassuringly stating, “Don’t worry, you go ahead. We will take care of the RWA.”

When she came back after picking up the dogs, a raging mob had gathered in front of her. The women were asked to come forward and take charge, so as to avoid any allegations of sexual abuse or harassment, if the men came forth. The police had made the MCD letter disappear and snatched Ayesha’s belongings from her.

Where do we stand

Several activists and friends of Ayesha, then reached the location, where the incident had unfolded, and their presence resulted in a definite change of attitude of the police and the residents. Six activists belonging to Vasant Kunj Animal Lovers reached there and found her badly roughed up. With any medico-legal case, the police are supposed to send the victim to a government hospital with a request for conducting a medical examination, which did not happen in this case. Ayesha believes that this was done so as to make sure that she was absent when the statement of the RWA is recorded.

N Gyana Sambandan, DCP Northwest district stated, “We have received complaints from both the parties. We will also probe allegations against the policeman accompanying her.”

Therefore, with clear accounts from the witnesses, and personal accounts from the victim, the true picture seems to be fairly clear.

However, patience will be required till the case moves forward and any new developments happen. As for now, this incident is yet another breach of human dignity and respect, and the failure of a respectable civil code. We hope that justice will prevail.

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  1. Ra’s al Ghul

    Where is your story about the innocent man who was lynched in Nagaland when a woman accused him falsely of rape? Stripped naked, dragged 7 kilometers, beaten with fists and sticks, stoned, and left to die – WHERE IS JUSTICE?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2984852/18-arrested-India-mob-lynches-rape-suspect.html

    1. Fem

      The story is right there. In Daily Mail and India Today.

      What is your exact problem? I used to think its just existence of women in general which vexes you. But I think its 2 fold. Its not only women who makes you all frothy at mouth but its also the fact that YKA is not publishing the exact material you want it to publish. Doesn’t matter if there are other publications which have done it in the past. But no!, it has to be on YKA!!! Otherwise the sky would fall on your head and the heads of all other women hating men.

    2. Ra’s al Ghul

      Why hasn’t the women who accused him falsely been punished? Would we be so quiet if a man accused a woman falsely and she was lynched? Why is there no outcry from the public? Why is this case of heinous injustice not screaming headlines everyday?

      Because he is a man?

    3. Fem

      There was in fact an outcry when he was lynched. From both genders, I must add. I am hoping there would be another outcry now on the fact that he was wrongly accused. But coming on a page which is talking about another victim of violence (albeit of another gender) does not help the man or the cause which is entirely different from here. Commenting on this page and asking why this didn’t happen and why that didn’t happen is the most unproductive thing. I know its a given that all you do is unproductive but its not helping anybody. Putting one incident down because another incident happened elsewhere is basically using that other unfortunate incident and pandering to your own propagandist theory. I would suggest instead that you start talking about that incident in various forums without trying to put women-kind in general who is fighting her own battles. That way you can help the society better and it would better help your cause (if your cause is an equal society for both men and women; not if your cause is to propagate hate towards anything feminine).

    4. sarath

      From both gender?? You are kidding right?? my facebook wall was filled with graphic image of this man being lynched and my very educated and socially aware female friends posting “true justice” “what these animals deserve” and so on. May be after his innocence became public.

    5. Jigsaw

      If the genders had been reversed in the Nagaland case, all networks would have aired this and the outrage would never end. Men everywhere would be hunted down by angry feminists. Where’s the coverage and the outrage now?

    6. Fem

      Read my comment on the same question by Ra’s Al Ghul

  2. ryan

    While poor Ayesha did not deserve to be hurt or outraged in any way, an understanding of the frustration many feel with regards to stray dogs is necessary if one wishes to understand the issue better. What happened to her was horrible and I sincerely wish the culprits are brought to justice.

    More people are killed by rabies/ dogs in India than the rest of the world put together. 80% of all rabies deaths world-wide occur in India , about 30,000 deaths being reported each year, and most fatalities are children.

    To give you an idea of the number, that’s more than all the people killed in all terrorist incidents since independence. That’s more than the Godhra and Gujarat violence death toll, scores of times over, and its repeated every single year. That’s about 20 times more than who died in the WTC bombings. That’s about the total number of people killed every year in north America by firearms. Thats 37 times more people killed by dogs every year than malaria. That’s about 30 times the number of people murdered by Dyer in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and it happens year after year with no group being held accountable and emotional requests for help and funds coming in from animal rights groups, cute puppy photos attached with no results hundreds of crores later, to show.

    The corporation hospitals in Bangalore annually records around 25,000 animal bite cases, while other hospitals treat 5,000 odd cases and that is only what is reported. India has the highest population of stray dogs in the world, an estimated 19 million. In Bangalore city alone, there are an estimated 200,000 stray dogs today. Even inoculated dogs can bite or kill . Besides rabies, dogs can transmit 50 diseases to humans, ranging from the common roundworm infestations to several chronic diseases and a few rare and fatal diseases like rickettsia which also affect pet dogs. Bangalore city’s dogs add 70 tons of dog crap every day to its streets which our sweepers have to clean up. Packs of dogs in Bangalore have hunted children and eaten them in full view of passers by.

    Animal rights activists might be a well meaning bunch at times but given their track record, their arguments seem highly emotional, self serving and classist.

    Rabies is invariably fatal and involve 2-7 days of excruciating torture and untreatable pain. If you get rabies you have to be out into a “restraining cage” at the Govt isolation hospital which is the only institution that accepts a rabies patient where you die horribly, not covered by Bangalore Mirror or Facebook in any way. Ive recently seen a caged child die of rabies and will never forget it.

    Stray dogs are a massive health issue and people with houses are usually not affected. Most of the people dying in Bangalore are children, not wealthy, get none of the publicity animals rights activists do and in short, are voiceless. We do not value the lives of our poor. We never have. If 30,000 people were killed by any animal in any other country, they would have been removed.The argument that euthanasia does not work does not hold water, especially when animal rights groups fight tooth and nail to stop city corporations from euthanizing stray dogs and countries like the US and UK with far higher numbers of pets being owned, have strict euthanasia programs if strays are not adopted within a time period. Its worked for the rest of the world.

    In India, we prefer to protect the dogs over children.

    All the same I am sorry this poor girl had to endure such nasty violence and hope the culprits are brought to justice. I still love puppies and dogs and have a dog myself I would donate my kidney for. But he is within 4 walls and not free on the streets.

    1. Shubham

      Are you like draft or something? What’s the point of pasting a Wikipedia like passages aboit rabies and stray dog related deaths when the whole point is that she was taking the dogs to get them immunized and sterilized to curb all the issues the irrelevant details of which you posed in a dozen paras…

  3. vinay negi

    such a nice article i like this CBSE Chemistry Prrvious years questions papers

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