Residents of Northern India now fear for their lives after several stray dogs mauled six children to death in recent days, sparking panic among villagers, who are afraid to go their farms and are keeping their children at home, Police said on Monday.
District police chief Anand Kulkarni said by phone that the victims, aged between five and 12 years, were killed in and around Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh state in the last four days, with a 10-year-old boy being critically injured in the latest attack on Sunday.
“These ferocious dogs which roam in packs comprising seven to eight canines have been targeting children.
“At least 12 kids were killed since November with the attacks peaking,’’ Kulkarni said.
The attacks occurred at farms and isolated areas in the district when children were either grazing their cattle or using outhouse toilets.
Street dogs have long posed a menace in India’s towns and cities, and civic authorities have reported a huge number of complaints of dog bites.
Incidents of feral dogs killing children and women in other regions in India also occurred once every few months, but this is perhaps the first time that a high number of fatal dog attacks has been reported from one area.