Kerala bids tearful goodbye to Nihal; child rights panel seeks report on incident

Nihal Noushad taking part in a fancy dress competition at Jaycees School and Speech Therapy Centre, Thalassery. Photo: Manorama

Muzhappilangad: Nihal Noushad was an artist, a brilliant child who won the applause of teachers and family members for his eye-catching performances on the stage. But those who came to pay his last respects could hardly take a look at his lifeless body and struggled to control the tears rolling out of their eyes.

Only one side of the child’s face could be exposed to those who were waiting to have one last look at him on Monday. The toddler’s whole body was mutilated in an attack by stray dogs on Sunday evening. Blood stains were seen under his eyes and on his neck.

Nihal’s body was taken to Manappuram Juma Masjid for burial. Photo: Dhanesh Ashokan/ Manorama

The shocking death of Nihal (10), son of Noushad and Nufeesa, who got mauled at the hands of stray dogs near his house at Darul Rahma in Kattinakam in Muzhappilangad, has triggered a wave of grief and protests across the state in equal measure.

It was the habit of Nihal, a differently abled child, to run outside whenever the grill on the verandah was open. Neighbours who saw his mother's message in WhatsApp groups used to bring him back. Like many times in the past, Nihal ran to Mehboob's house nearby the other day. The attraction there was the swing.

The dogs had torn him apart in an isolated compound. No one even heard his cries because he was speech-impaired. He had left this world long before the local people arrived at the scene where he was attacked by the dogs at 7:30 pm.

Many who arrived to pay his last respects couldn’t control themselves and broke out, saying the shocking sight was not vanishing from their eyes. The teachers at Jaycees School and Speech Therapy Centre, Thalassery, where he studied, were also unable to control their grief.

The body was brought home in the afternoon after the post-mortem. Nihal’s body had to be taken to Manappuram Juma Masjid for burial before his father, Noushad, who works in Bahrain, arrived. His younger brother, little Nazal, unaware of what had happened, stared at the crowd.

V N Vasavan and CPM District Secretary M V Jayarajan paying last respects to Nihal's body. Photo: Dhanesh Ashokan/ Manorama

State Human Rights, Child Rights Commissions take cases suo motu

The State Human Rights Commission and the Child Rights Commission have taken suo motu cognizance of the incident. Human Rights Commission judicial member K Baijunath has asked the Muzhappilangad panchayat secretary to submit a detailed report on the incident within 15 days.

The Child Rights Commission will join as a party to the case in the Supreme Court regarding the stray dog menace. Commission chairman K V Manoj Kumar visited Nihal's house.

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