Widow relaxes after court acquits her pet dog

PATNA - A happy Raj Kumari Devi Wednesday woke up tension free and ‘upbeat’ after her pet dog Chhotu won a legal battle in a Bihar court.

This was one of several legal wars against Chhotu that Devi’s neighbours have been waging. Chhotu was sentenced to death six years ago but Devi obtained clemency for her ‘only companion’.

This time, Chhotu was accused of breaching peace in Purnia town, after neighbours alleged that the eight-year-old canine is mad and has bitten several people in the area.

The case was filed July last against Chhotu and Devi, a frail middle-aged childless widow, under CrPC section 107 (disturbing peace).

Sub divisional officer A.D. Thackeray Tuesday dimissed the case because it had become time-barred after six months.

The judgement brought back a smile on Devi’s face, who was worried over Chhotu’s fate.

‘After months, I slept Tuesday night without tension and woke up Wednesday morning upbeat to take care of Chhotu,’ she said.

Official sources in the Purnia district administration said that hearing in the case was deferred several times in the last six months, due to floods and ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

‘It is a conspiracy by my neighbours to grab my property. They are targeting my protector, Chhotu,’ she said.

Dilip Kumar, Devi’s lawyer, said several cases had been lodged against Chhotu by her neighbours in the last few years.

She owns some land her neighbours are allegedly trying to encroach upon.

Nearly six years ago when the dog was sentenced to death by a local court she single-handedly fought a legal battle and mobilised the support of animal rights activists, including former central minister Maneka Gandhi.

The order was finally stayed.

‘I simply begged for clemency saying that being a widow, Chhotu was my only companion and protector,’ Devi said.


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