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Two Labradors receive gallantry honours for sniffing out bombs, saving lives

Gracy, 6, and Danfy, 8, were honoured together with Paramveer, a horse, who was awarded a commendation card in recognition of his outstanding achievements in equestrian sports.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2018 08:58 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gallantry awards,Oaramveer chakra,Gallantry awards for animals
A pair of Labradors trained in sniffing out explosives and landmines have won the Chief of Army Staff’s commendation card this Independence Day for the heroics they performed in combat zones, entitling them to extra goodies and more rest .(HT File Photo)

A pair of Labradors trained in sniffing out explosives and landmines have won the Chief of Army Staff’s commendation card this Independence Day for the heroics they performed in combat zones, entitling them to extra goodies and more rest .

Gracy, 6, and Danfy, 8, were honoured together with Paramveer, a horse, who was awarded a commendation card in recognition of his outstanding achievements in equestrian sports.

Gracy earned her spurs by detecting a deadly improvised explosive device (IED) on national highway 102 that links Imphal to Moreh, and Danfy sniffed out several pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and rocket-propelled grenades in Jammu and Kashmir’s Drass sector, said army officers familiar with their exploits.

Their citations say their brave actions saved scores of lives. Both now proudly wear the commendation cards on their collars.

Assigned to the 16 Army Dog Unit, Gracy (No. 1B85) has been operating in the Northeast for the last four years. In 2017, she was attached to an Assam Rifles squad as part of Operation Hifazat in Manipur.

The squad, along with Gracy, swung into action as soon as the army was alerted about a possible IED attack on the highway on November 17.

“The army dog with her innate sniffing capabilities, transcendent precision and consummate professional skills patiently sniffed and confidently confirmed the presence of the explosive near a culvert , covered by haystack,” reads Gracy’s citation.

The army’s bomb disposal squad was then called in to defuse the IED.

The citation says that correct indication and confirmation by Gracy saved valuable human lives and property, calling her an excellent sniffer and extremely intelligent.

Belonging to the 29 Army Dog Unit, Danfy (No. B870) proved to be a precious asset for soldiers carrying out demining operations in the mountains of Drass.

Within weeks of being deployed there, he sniffed out 43 pieces of UXO and 16 rocket-propelled grenades in a string of demining operations between August 8 and September 19 last year.

Danfy’s citation, which describes him as a “silent warrior”, praises him for exhibiting impeccable sniffing capabilities and courage by sitting next to the spot and pointing out the presence of explosives to soldiers.

“The detection of explosives averted a major mishap, casualty to our troops,” the citation says, also making a special mention of his handler, Dafedar Dharmendra Kumar.

Officers from the Remount and Veterinary Corps say decorated dogs are pampered with more goodies and get extra rest, along with their handlers. Their names, collars and unique service numbers are also put up on roll-of-honour boards at military units.

Paramveer (No. 25863) won the COAS commendation card for winning 92 medals, including 27 golds, in different equestrian events between 2011 and 2017.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 07:47 IST