Changed Name, Police Complaints: Curious Case of Indore Dog Lover

Sakshi Sharma alias Samreen Bano has alleged threats to her life for protecting street dogs.

5 min read
Changed Name, Police Complaints: Curious Case of Indore Dog Lover

The video of a woman from Indore has gone viral on social media over alleged threats to her life for taking care of over 40 street dogs and preventing them from being abducted and killed.

“This is my last video,” says the woman, wearing a mask. “I live in Pipliyan Square, Tilak Nagar, Indore. I shelter stray dogs. The police has been harassing me for 10 months and so are some people around me. I have been going to Tilak Nagar police station to tell them the same. My dog was killed 3 days ago. But I’m being threatened with my life. When I tell the police that there are people following me, they ask me why I live alone. There is no law and order in Indore. It’s impossible to live alone,” she can be heard saying.

The video first appeared on the Facebook profile under the name Sakshi Sharma, on 26 July at 4:46 pm. It was then uploaded on the Instagram account of @tedthestoner and went viral, garnering over 85 lakh views.

The woman has also uploaded videos as ‘proof’ of her claims on her Facebook profile and YouTube channel.


‘Some Claims Are Baseless’

Indore’s Tilak Nagar police station in-charge Dinesh Verma told The Quint, “After the video went viral, I went with a team to investigate, along with People for Animals chief Priyanshu Jain and counselled her. The woman’s problem is that a lot of cattle rearers come to the area that cause trouble for the dogs. We have told the beat in-charge to ensure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

“Some of the claims that she has made on social media are baseless. She claims that the police hasn’t investigated the matter. An FIR was filed on 9 March after she had lodged a complaint. One accused was also arrested. She hasn’t mentioned that in her video. We have spoken to the people in the area. Her life is not in danger. We also got the security guard to the station and spoke to him,” he told The Quint.

Here is the copy of the FIR she had filed on 9 March:

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    (Photo: The Quint)
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    (Photo: The Quint)
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    (Photo: The Quint)
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    (Photo: The Quint)

Trouble With Law

The police told The Quint that the woman’s actual name was Samreen Bano, daughter of Dilshad Siddiqui. She has had multiple complaints lodged against her across UP police stations including Noida, Dadri and Azadpur. She has previoulsly also lived in Goa and Hyderabad. She has another complaint against her by an individual called Nitish Kumar Tripathi in the Aerodrome police station for allegedly not paying rent of Rs 30,000.

The police also claimed that the woman is suffering from depression and is “mentally unstable”.

  • Sharma’s Aadhaar card.

‘Left Home at 16, Changed My Name Willingly’

Sharma alias Samreen Bano told The Quint, “My name is Sakshi Sharma. I was born in a Muslim family and my previous name was Samreen Bano. I have left my family years ago. I don’t have any relations with them anymore. It wasn’t my choice to be born in that family. I have willingly and legally given up my religion.”

She also showed her name-change affidavit dated November 2019.

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    Sakshi’s name-change affidavit(Photo: The Quint)
    Sakshi’s name-change affidavit
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    Sakshi’s name-change affidavit(Photo: The Quint)
    Sakshi’s name-change affidavit

Sharma told The Quint that ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ are mere words for her. She said that if the society allowed her to live without a name as well, she would be happy to do so. She said that she submitted the necessary name-change documents as proof to the police on 16 March but they still think she’s a fraud.

“I was brought up in Lucknow and left home when she was 16. I lived in Delhi’s Nirankari Colony as a paying guest. I completed my BSc and MSc in microbiology from Meerut University while taking up a job. I have worked in multiple companies across Delhi-NCR. The police say I’m mentally unstable. Would anybody have given me a job if I was mentally unstable?” she told The Quint.

She said that she has mostly worked on contract basis in Delhi. She claims to have worked for a Noida-based company called Silver Ink Technology and Hyderabad-based BC Forward. She also showed the ID card of her Hyderabad company.


‘Never Did Anything Wrong’

Sakshi claims that the Indore police is trying to prove that she is mentally unstable because she raised her voice against them being party to the criminals.

“The claims of there being multiple cases against me across the country, I have no idea about them. I have never been called for any investigation or interrogation in any case. I have never even been to a court. If I haven’t done anything wrong, then what’s the problem,” she said.

Love for Animals

Sakshi narrated how she fell in love with animals. “When I worked in Delhi, my friends lived with their families or girlfriends or boyfriends.But I had nobody, so I started taking care of strays. It is then that I discovered that dogs are better than human beings. I then started adopting dogs. I saw a post by People for Animals (PFA) and adopted 2 dogs. I have looked after them for 3 years,” she said.

PFA is one of India’s largest animal welfare organisations. BJP leader Maneka Gandhi is one of the founders. Sharma alleged that PFA has abducted her dogs. She also raised questions on the functioning of PFA.

“All this is happening to me only because I am trying to expose them. The police are also working on their directions. The gist of the matter is, I am a victim of power politics,” she said.

The Quint spoke to PFA member Priyanshu Jain, who accompanied the police while Sharma was counselled.

“Sakshi’s complaint was registered on 9 March. She had registered another complaint alleging that the security guard has killed her dog. She was provided with the post-mortem letter for it. We wanted to file the FIR after the post-mortem but the post-mortem didn’t happen. Another dog of hers had vanished. The police has spoken to the guards and further investigations are underway,” he said.


Relations With Neighbours, Landlords

The police claim that Sakshi’s neighbours too, have problems with her. However, when The Quint spoke to one of her neighbours called Anshu, she said that her relations with her are good.

“I have good relations me. She treats me like her mother and I treat her like my daughter,” she said.

When asked about a specific neighbour having problems with her, the police said that people don’t come forward due to fear and only complain about her off the record.

However, Sharma’s former landlord Seema Tripathi had a lot of issues with her. Sharma has also uploaded many videos against Tripathi on social media.

Indore DIG Harinarayan Chari told The Quint that there will be thorough investigation of Sharma’s claims.

(The story was first published by Quint Hindi.)

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