New Delhi: Delhi Police Thursday arrested 27-year-old Gaurav Sharma, a YouTube content creator, for animal cruelty after a video showed his dog floating in the air with helium balloons strapped to his back.
In the video posted on 22 May, which has been deleted since, Sharma was first in a park with his mother and his dog where he announced that he will make his dog fly.
The dog, which had balloons tied to its back, could be seen floating in the air before his mother caught it.
In the next part of the video, Sharma can be seen on top of a car with his mother, where he once again announces that he will attempt to make his dog fly and then releases the dog with the helium balloons attached to its back. The video ends after the dog reaches the second floor of the building.
Tied a dog with helium balloons that flew to the third floor of a building what a shameful activity has done by this so called youtuber gauravzone aka Mr. Gaurav Sharma for fame, this incident could lead to death of his dog. #dogs .@PetaIndia #PETA pic.twitter.com/TLzYu244Vr
— namita singh (@namitas34481129) May 27, 2021
The video was deleted by Sharma after there was widespread outrage in the comments section. Several users also took to Twitter to condemn the video.
Tied a dog with helium balloons that flew to the third floor of a building what a shameful activity has done by this so called youtuber gauravzone aka Mr. Gaurav Sharma for fame, this incident could lead to death of his dog. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/LTN133500I
— vikas kandel (@imvikas_kandel) May 23, 2021
Sharma issued an apology in a subsequent video, posted on 23 May, and said that he took down the dog’s video as sentiments had been hurt but claimed that he had taken all safety precautions while shooting it.
‘Apology not enough’
Sharma was arrested after a complaint was filed against him by Gaurav Gupta from an animal welfare group, People for Animals.
“When we first saw the video, the first thing we did was that we downloaded it and saved it because we knew he would delete it and that is exactly what happened,” said Gupta
“We found out that he was a resident of Malviya Nagar and then we lodged a complaint against him at the police station there and today we have got to know that he has been arrested,” he told ThePrint.
Even though Sharma issued an apology for the video, Gupta said it wasn’t enough. “An apology is not enough. It is like saying you killed someone but you apologised so it’s alright. The dog could have had a heart attack, he could have died if the balloons burst.
“Besides, this is not the first time that he has made such videos. We have evidence of a few other videos also in which he can be seen showing cruelty towards animals. He has deleted these videos now but we have those videos shared. For instance, in one he ties the legs of a pigeon and places it in a swimming pool and then sets his dog on the pigeon. He has shown excessive cruelty towards animals and we will lodge complaints against him in these matters too slowly,” he added.
YouTuber in the neighbourhood
Meanwhile, Sharma’s neighbours in Malviya Nagar said that while he was known for making videos in the neighbourhood, no one saw him shooting this particular video.
“He moves around with his camera everywhere taking videos but I didn’t see him when he was making this particular video though I later saw it online,” one of Sharma’s neighbours, who did not want to be named, told ThePrint.
Others concurred that the stunt was dangerous for the dog and Sharma should not have carried it out.
“Everybody has been talking about that video and sharing it on social media so we have also seen it. But this is wrong, he shouldn’t have done that to his dog just for likes. The dog could have died,” noted Nitin, one of Sharma’s neighbours.