Stray dog, monkey menace in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, is facing a peculiar problem these days. According to the Akhilesh government, about 400-450 persons in Varanasi are being administered anti-rabies injections every day because they are being bitten by infected dogs and monkeys.

Replying to a question put up by BJP MLA Shyam Dev Roy Chaudhary on Wednesday in the state assembly, UP minister Shankhlal Manjhi said that there was no cure for hydrophobia that afflicts a patient once he is infected with rabies. The BJP MLA said that the menace of stray dogs and monkeys in Varanasi was increasing by the day but the state government had not yet taken any steps to curb the same.

The minister said that catching of stray dogs was an issue related to the animal husbandry ministry. He added that catching monkeys often posed a major problem since many Hindus believed the monkey to be a representative of Lord Hanuman and were opposed to any operation against them.

The minister, however, assured that there was no shortage of rabies vaccine in the state and the vaccine is available free of cost in government hospitals.

BJP MLA Dr R.M.D. Agarwal, meanwhile, intervened and said that only mad dogs were known to spread rabies and every stray dog was not a carrier of the deadly virus. The MLA also wanted to know if the government had decided on any compensation for those who die due to hydrophobia but the minister ruled out the idea.

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