Kashmir, Ather Zia, Srinagar, Critical Kashmir Studies, dogs, attack dogs, Anthropology of Policy, Instagram

In any other scenario this is not a fearsome sight. But in Kashmir dogs exist unusual numbers; huge throngs of canine brigands roam the streets. A 2012 report said that the Srinagar city has 80,000 dogs. Mauling and fatal attacks by dogs have become common. One year a Srinagar hospital reported more than 20,000 dog bite cases. It might be the only hospital that has an emergency dog bite unit. Popular opinion also holds the Indian troops responsible for raising stray dogs. Treated as default guard-dogs, a kind of animal militia, it is not uncommon to find huge well-fed dogs snarling at people around the bunkers. Most of the burden of this situation is on an Indian animal rights activist who is against selective killing mechanism to control dog population. In 2011, the administration flew in a team from the United States to train staff in dog catching. An interesting attempt was to hire a “pied piper of dogs.” One Kashmiri woman who was mauled by dogs says ruefully: “we are killed by bullets, and now dogs have also been unleashed upon us – India worries for animal life, Kashmiri life is cheap.” – Ather Zia

Image (c) Ather Zia 2016. Originally posted on ASAP Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJDcYpzBdLs/?taken-by=anthofpolicy

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