| CRPF personnel with Dolly during an operation against Maoists in Rohtas on Wednesday. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary |
Central Reserve Police Force personnel have found a new friend in Dolly, the Labrador Retriever.
Dolly, an expert in detecting landmines, has been inducted in the 47th battalion of the CRPF to help rein in the Maoists operating in south and central Bihar.
The induction of three-and-a-half-year old Dolly in the central paramilitary force assumes significance in wake of the landmine explosions at Nabinagar in Aurangabad district in which eight security personnel, including Tandawa police station house officer Ajay Kumar, were killed.
Dolly had been imparted training in detecting landmines and explosives at the National Training Centre for Dogs, Gwalior. The institute runs under the Border Security Force and provides specialised training to canines.
Rohtas additional superintendent of police (operations) Sohail Akhtar said induction of Dolly had added teeth to the force assigned to combat Naxalite menace in the region. “Dolly is now a part of the 47th battalion of the CRPF deployed in Rohtas for anti-Maoist operations,” he said.
The 4ft-long and 3ft-tall Dolly has been credited with saving the lives of several policemen ever since her induction in the battalion. “We never miss to take Dolly with us in the operations against the rebels,” Akhtar said, adding that two sniffer dogs were brought to Rohtas from Gwalior.
Dolly’s colleague Sweeti was, however, returned to Gwalior after she fell sick. The two sniffer dogs were pressed into service to detect landmines, which have of late proved deadly (fatal) for the security personnel.
Deep search underground metal detector, the device currently used to dig out landmines and explosive devices planted underground, does not yield 100 per cent results.
Dolly, a member of the Labrador Retriever family, is expert at hunting explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Police sources said Dolly could help avert incidents like landmine blasts on Nabinagar-Tandawa road in adjoining Aurangabad district on December 3, which claimed the lives of eight policemen. Intelligence sources said some hilly and dense forests in the region cannot be described safe as there are possibilities of landmines.
“The sniffer dog will now help to avoid such risky conditions during anti-Maoist operations in the area close to Jharkhand border,” Rohtas superintendent of police Vikas Burman said. Dolly was pressed into service to detect landmines, if any, before the police officers proceed for Rohtas fort to attend monthly routine crime meeting on Wednesday.
Dolly’s handler Satyendra said BSF dogs are considered to be the best sniffers in the country as it keeps pedigree dogs, which are most suitable for police work. “Dolly’s presence has boosted the morale of the force,” he added.
On the other hand, the police headquarters has also requisitioned for 15 sniffer dogs from the army for their use in special operations against the rebels and those involved in narcotics deal. They are likely to join the police force in January next year.