Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government today voiced concern over Union minister Maneka Gandhi's "intervention" in the state affairs to control stray dog menace in the state.
State Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali voiced protest in the state Assembly over Gandhi's action of personally calling the secretary of the City Corporation and "threatening him with consequences" after the local body initiated steps to control street dogs menace.
Replying to a calling attention on a need to check stray dog menace, Ali said Maneka Gandhi calling the officer and giving instructions without informing the state was condemnable, and voiced concern over her "intervention" in state affairs over with the issue.
On the various steps taken on the matter, Ali said civic bodies have been directed to take necessary steps including mercy killing of violent and rabies-affected stray dogs.
The court itself had approved mercy killing of violent dogs, Ali pointed out, adding that the government would take steps within the parameters of law.
Intervening, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said local self-governments have been given freedom to deal with violent dogs.
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure protection to human life," Chandy added.
Thomas Unniyadan, government chief whip, said as per medical records, about 90,000 people have approached hospitals for treatment of dog bites and seven people died in last one year.
Unniyadan also brought Maneka Gandhi's instruction to the notice of the House which states that even violent and rabies-affected dogs should not be slaughtered even as the courts and law of the land says they can be killed.
As per a study, Kerala has more than five lakh street dogs in the state, he said and urged government to take urgent steps to check it.
He claimed that some anti-rabies medical lobby was working in the state.