In a bid to tackle terrorism and naxalism, the state criminal investigations department (CID) has submitted a proposal to the home ministry to start a central school for dogs training at Pune.
Special inspector general of police (establishment) Dr BK Upadhyay, who had made a presentation to the home department and senior police officials, told Hindustan Times that the proposal has been accepted by the home department and has been sent to the finance department for fund allocation.
“The site for the school has been selected. It is at the state reserve police force premises in Pune, where there is nearly four acres of land. It will enhance the capability of Maharashtra police in dealing with terrorism and Naxalism,” an official overseeing the project said.
He added that the recent incident in which 15 police personnel were killed in Gadchiroli due to a landmine, makes having a dog squad imperative. The proposal says that Mumbai and Gadchiroli will have the first batch of trained canines.
At present, there are dog squads in most units, but there is no centralised training facility, and the number of canines with each unit is much less than the required strength.
Even the Mumbai police have a bigger requirement for dog squads. Currently, there are around 18 dogs with the city police, while by global standards, they should have around 300 canines.
The proposal also recommends use of dogs as scouts for regular patrolling since with such dog squads 99% accuracy can be achieved for detection of explosives and landmines in urban and naxal-affected areas. “Use of canine squads on a large scale will help in saving lives,” the proposal says.
“The used of sniffer dogs as scouts in patrolling parties in anti-naxal operations will ensure not just safety but will also help in detection of mines and tracing of hostile men,” the proposal says, adding that in the case of communication lines collapsing, dogs can also be used as messengers.