On July 29, a team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was patrolling the Manpur-Baseli road in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh with the intention of sanitising the trail of any potential mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The climate was humid, and the search on the 14-km long strategic road was not very successful. However, unknown to them, there was an IED hidden on the road—the kind that has been infamously used by the Taliban, which the Naxals had never used before.
Everything would have gone according to the plan of the Naxals, if not for Baghera, a K9 recruit of the ITBP.
During the three-hour search, Baghera, the Doberman, handled by Constable PP Shiva Rao, first found a spark plug of the EID, covered in five layers of cling film.
An outer poly cover protected the odour. Following this, Baghera went on to discover a 20-kg bomb planted in the area. If the brave dog hadn’t found the bomb in time, the resulting blast would have taken the lives of the entire squad stationed there.
The IPS Association took to Twitter to praise the dog.
“A sniff in time! We admire the brilliance of #Baghera, a Doberman of @ITBP_official team, whose timely detection of 20 kg bomb planted by Naxals ensured the safety of security personnel in #Chhattisgarh.
Truly an incredible work K9 Baghera” said the tweet.
Baghera is one of the 20 Dobermans specially trained by the ITBP. The K9 recruits are now stationed in different places, and he is stationed in Chhattisgarh.
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ITBP is reportedly the first Indian force to reintroduce Dobermans to undertake three tasks—detect extremists, detect explosives and by the command of the handler, attack the jugular of the adversary. The last task is only used as a last resort. However, as Baghera has proved, the trained dogs are very efficient in carrying out the commands given to them and doing their job.
As the IPS officers said, a sniff in time, undoubtedly saves lives!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)