Video of Chennai hospital official torturing cat goes viral, police launch probe

A section of animal activists Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Tamil Nadu Police after a video of workers of a private hospital near Tambaram in Chennai strangulating a cat with a plastic bucket went viral on social media.

Heaven for Animals (HFA), an NGO for the protection of stray animals, has filed the complaint with the Tambaram Police Commissionerate in connection with the issue that happened on November 20. The hospital has harmed and tortured close to 20 cats without any mercy, the complainant stated.

The NGO claimed the heinous act was done under the insistence of a senior member of the hospital and demanded the police to initiate strict action against the hospital and staff.

Based on the complaint, the police have started an inquiry, said Tambaram DCP Sibi Chakravarthi.

However, when visited the hospital premises Thursday, the hospital authorities denied any such incident of torturing cats and said the one in the video is still roaming free across the premises.

The hospital in-charge showed pictures of the cat which was similar to the one that was caught in the video and said it was unhurt.

The NGO stated in the complaint that community animals, especially cats and dogs, have always been a part of our residential system and it was our duty to maintain that ecological balance rather than to harm, kill or remove them from the territory that they belong to.

While agreeing that cats have been causing a menace to the patients for the past four months, a staff member at the hospital said, “We didn’t try to kill any animal; we are running a hospital to save lives. The animal scratched many patients who approached us to take action. We called a couple of NGOs but they never turned up. The staff members, after seeing the cat on that day, attempted to capture it.”

Their intention was to catch them and leave them in some other open area but the cat escaped, he said.

“In the video, it looks like the staff members are harming the cat but it was never the case. They just held the bucket to prevent it from escaping but the cat ran away,” a staff at the hospital said.

In the purported video, the hospital members can be seen forcefully pushing an empty bucket on a cat and trying to capture it using a cover.

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