Mumbai: medical student beaten up by a group of thugs for feeding cats

NEWS AND COMMENT - MUMBAI, INDIA: A 25-year-old animal-loving medical student, Moin Asif Darvesh, agreed with his father's request to feed stray cats outside of Sir Elly Kadoorie school at 7:30 PM in the evening. It was something that they did regularly and have done for 7 years.

Unbeknownst to the 25-year-old, his father had been threatened 4 days earlier by a few people who objected to him feeding the cats. It appears at the same people approached Moin and insisted that he stopped feeding the cats with chicken. There appears to have been a short discussion at the end of which Moin refused to comply with their demands.

Medical student Moin Asif Darvesh
Medical student Moin Asif Darvesh. Image: Mid-day.com

Four more people approached him and allegedly started to kick and punch him. The attack continued for 15 minutes. Onlookers gathered to watch. Police on patrol rescued him.

He sustained injuries to his face, elbows and forearms. He was taken to a local hospital and treated. He later attended the police station to register his complaint and provide evidence.

His father then confessed that he had been threatened 4 days earlier and told that he would be taught a lesson for feeding the cats. He didn't argue with them and went home. He said that the attack on his son was planned for him. He had not told his son to miss that feeding session at that spot.

He accuses a politician for backing the thugs who attacked his son.

The Byculla police recorded a series of offences against the alleged attackers including: voluntarily causing hurt, voluntarily causing hurt by weapons and means, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon, rioting and every member of unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of common object. These are crimes specific to India. The description of the crimes is different to those in other parts of the world including the UK.

Two people have been arrested concerning the incident and the senior inspector said that there was a search on for the others.

Comment: this is not the first time and it won't be the last when a person is attacked for feeding stray and feral cats. It has happened in America. On occasions the violence escalates. I can recall one cat feeder being shot dead by a murderer.

The animosity can become severe between those who don't like stray and feral cats and those who feel sympathy towards them and want to help. Stray and feral cats polarise the viewpoint of society probably in almost all countries of the world along the lines indicated.

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