An eight-year-old was mauled to death by stray dogs in Hetbandh Digwr village in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand on Tuesday. The girl met her end when she was on her way to relieve herself. Soni Kumari, a class 3 student had gone to attend nature’s call in the afternoon when villagers were at work. Some stray dogs pounced and mauled her. A passerby who heard Soni’s cries, came to her rescue and shooed away the dogs. Although she was rushed to the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries. The girl had suffered bites all over her body and doctors declared her dead on arrival.

The government has assured action against the stray dogs in the area and promised to build a toilet at the girl’s house. Hindustan Times quoted sub divisional officer Kiran Kumari as saying, “We will direct the officials of animal husbandry department to take action against stray dogs in the area. We will help the family as per government norms. The family has no toilet; that is why the girl had gone outside to relieve herself. We will get a toilet constructed at the victim’s house.” (ALSO READ- From stray dogs to serial killers: Is man’s best friend turning into man’s worst enemy in India?)

HT quoted Praveen Ohal of HOPE and Animal Trust, an NGO working in Ranchi since 2007 to control dog population, said, “There were about 30 lakh dogs in the state at the ratio of one dog per 10 persons and Ranchi alone accounted for 40,000 dogs of which 70% have been sterilised.” Ohal also assured that measures have been taken to control dog population in Ranchi and Khunti districts of the state.

In a similar incident, a five-year-old died after being attacked by dogs in Dhurwa in Ranchi, while a neawborn baby girl was eaten by stray dogs inside Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in June 2015. Understand the gravity of the situation, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das directed officials to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

Last month, a 65-year-old woman was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in Kerala. There has been a growing menace by stray dogs as described by the Kerala government as a law and order problem. Kerala is said to be the worst affected with around 2.5-lakh feral canine dog population. In 2015-16, at least one lakh people were bitten by stray dogs in the state.