Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ruff Justice

A dog has appeared in court in the eastern Indian state of Bihar accused of breaching the peace. Police demanded severe action against the dog for biting people. Its owner says it has only attacked burglars.

The dog, named Chhotu, has been in trouble with the law before. In 2003, a magistrate sentenced Chhotu to death. Neighbours complained he had gone mad and bitten several people. But animal rights activists managed to get the decision reversed.

Chhotu made his latest appearance in a crowded court on Thursday in the town of Purnea.

"The court was compelled to issue a summons to the dog since the police found that it was a threat to peace and feared that it might create a law and order problem," district official Rajiv Ranjan said.

In court Chhotu appeared to have been on best behaviour. "Despite the presence of so many people in the courtroom the dog did not bite or bark at anyone," the canine's lawyer Dilip Kumar Deepak said in defence of his client.

The case continues and Chhotu has been ordered to appear in court again on 5 August, together with his owner, childless widow, Rajkumari Devi.

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