PETA India has fired off a letter to the Police Commissioner of Mumbai asking for Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, to be added to the First Information Report (FIR) that was registered against a security guard for allegedly raping a female community dog by forcing a sharp object into her vagina causing her internal organs to prolapse and resulting in her death. If released, the man could go on to abuse a human in the same way. Indeed, the woman known as “Nirbhaya” was infamously raped and killed with a rod.
Based on a complaint by Abhishek Kapdoskar, a member of the Mumbai Animal Association – an organisation working for the welfare of community animals in Mumbai – the Samta Nagar police filed an FIR on 22 August. It was registered only under Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Sections 11(1)(a) and (l) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. Now, PETA India has urged the police to include Section 377 in order to ensure that the accused is also charged with bestiality – sexual assault of an animal by a human.
Acts of cruelty to animals such as this one indicate a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often don’t stop there – many move on to hurting humans. And the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its records of serial rapists and murderers.
One US study conducted over a 21-year period found that 70 per cent of people who abused animals went on to commit other crimes and that about two-thirds of them also assaulted a human. It also found that 100 per cent of individuals convicted of sexual homicide had a history of cruelty to animals. And importantly, another US study found that 96 per cent of offenders who had engaged in bestiality also admitted to having sexually assaulted humans.
Examples of such individuals include Ameerul Islam, who used to rape and kill dogs and goats before he was sentenced to death for raping and murdering law student Jisha in Kerala. Convicted criminal Joseph Bateson of Northern Ireland – who allegedly sexually assaulted farmed animals – was found guilty of 17 counts of gross indecency with a child and indecent assault after he sexually abused a 6-year-old boy. And American criminal Jerry Cook was convicted of cruelty to animals and assault and battery following an incident in which he raped a dog – fatally injuring her in the process – and attacked the owner of a home he was burgling. Cook’s history of violence began nearly two decades earlier, when he was convicted of the first-degree rape of a human.
PETA India has long campaigned to strengthen the country’s main animal-protection legislation, The PCA Act, 1960, which contains outdated penalties, such as a maximum fine of only Rs 50 for convicted first-time offenders.
You can help us request stronger punishments for animal abusers.