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Dhaka Tribune

Stray dogs found dead in Mirpur amidst suspicion, allegations

  • Residents threatened because they fed the dogs
  • Pirate, a beloved dog, was found dead on April 15
Update : 21 Apr 2024, 10:33 PM

Whenever someone called Pirate by his name, he would come running towards them with his tail wagging in excitement. 

Affectionately named by some of the Shwapnonagar Housing Society in Mirpur 12’s animal lovers, Pirate was an adult male dog known for his playfulness around the gates of various buildings.

On April 15, when animal lovers of society, at around 10 pm, went to feed the community dogs, they found others except Pirate.

Tensed, when they started circling the society -- only to find Pirate, lying dead in the walkway situated between west side of mosque and east side of building no 6, with blood coming out of his jaw. His head and neck were bruised. His body was cold as ice.

A visit to the spot

The housing society is surrounded by five gates, with only the main gate consistently open. 

It accommodates 1,040 families and is guarded by 38 security personnel working two shifts daily. Access to outsiders inside the society requires proper identification as well.

There is ample open space and a garden around each building. 

It was seen that about 15-16 adult dogs like Pirate are now living there. They were relaxing at several places -- some lounging on the sandy patches behind the buildings, while others sitting under the shade of trees in the gardens. However, most dogs were seen wandering around the society’s mosque.

‘Afraid’ of the stray dogs

Talking to the security in-charge and some members of the Shwapnonagar Housing Society Committee, it was found that many residents do not want the dogs to live there.

They have complained about the dogs several times and instructed the guards not to let them roam around the mosque during prayers. 

They have also asked the guards to prevent the dogs from playing with the children, as they are “afraid” of them. 

What had happened

The animal lovers of the society told Dhaka Tribune that around 10:30pm, many residents of the society checked the Pirates body and thought that he might have died a few hours ago, as his body was cold and rigid.

Later, they inspected the surveillance camera footage of building 7, as they could not check the footage of building number 6 due to the absence of the building manager.

“We saw that the caretaker of building number 7 dragged the dog from the side of the mosque and placed him next to the garden. 'Pirate' was dead the whole time. When asked, the caretaker said that he found his body with blood smeared on it. He moved the body because it was lying near the mosque, and the people would complain,” said one of the animal lovers who wished to remain anonymous.

They also suspected that it was a planned murder, as Pirate's legs were tied with a rope.

Some residents said there is a blind spot between the backside of buildings 7 and 8, which the surveillance cameras do not cover. They believe that after brutally getting hurt in that area, he somehow managed to reach the corner of building number 7, where there is a water tap, and passed away there.

Legal actions

A day after Pirate’s death, a General Diary (GD) was filed at Pallabi police station by Ariyan Abhsar, a resident of Mirpur DOHS and works for animal welfare associations. 

He mentioned in the GD that Pirate was found injured in his leg three days before his death as well. Besides, the rest of the community’s dogs were also being abused at various times. 

He added that they did not know who was behind these incidents, but sought the society’s cooperation to safeguard the dogs. 

In this regard, Sub Inspector (SI) Abdul Aziz of Pallabi police station said a GD was filed but the plaintiff did not want the police to visit the spot just yet, as he feared it would lead to more violence against the dogs. 

Conflicting statements 

Pirate’s death was the first such incident here, claimed Jabber, the head of security for the day shift at the society. 

He added that the security guards were never instructed to kill any dogs by the members of the society. “But we were ordered to get the dogs out of the society.”

Security In-Charge Md Jahangir said initially there were about 20 dogs, however, over the past two years, this number has surged to about 50. 

He mentioned that many residents of the society are afraid of dogs, particularly due to their presence in front of the mosque, which poses challenges for worshipers.

“As a result, we contacted the city corporation to remove the dogs. But they said they cannot do it as their operations are currently closed,” Jahangir added.

Meanwhile, Shwapnonagar Housing Society Committee President Abul Bashar said: “This is the first I have heard a dog died here. Everyone here loves dogs.”

He added that no one had given any instructions on behalf of the committee to remove dogs or to torture them. 

Previous incidents

While talking to Dhaka Tribune, some 15-16 residents of the society said two other dogs had died earlier. It is believed that their food was poisoned. 

They also claimed that the community committee has put several restrictions on the dogs and even threatened those who fed them.

A resident of the society, seeking anonymity, claimed the committee members had ordered the security guards to torture the dogs and throw them out. “They are the ones involved in this murder.”

She added: “We were threatened because we fed the dogs. We live here on rent, and those who threatened us are flat owners.”

The residents claimed that a powerful group is trying to kill the dogs, and not a single dog is safe there. 

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