In order to enhance skills of police dogs deployed to secure some VIPs, including the Prime Minister, the ITBP has begun a rigorous 24-week training session of an elite squad of sniffers working with the Special Protection Group (SPG).
After getting good results during a limited number training of SPG canines by Indo-Tibetan Border Police dog trainers early this year, the force has now sent in a contingent of about 20 dogs to train at the paramilitary’s special dog training school at Bhanu near Chandigarh.
Officials privy to the training exercise said the SPG is increasingly relying on sniffing and explosive detection skills of the canine troopers to ensure overall protection to not only Prime Minister Narendra Modi but other protectees under its cover like ex-prime ministers and their immediate family members.
A mix batch of SPG’s German shepherds and labradors are at present undertaking the training session at the National Centre for Training of Dogs which has also been declared as the ‘centre of excellence’ in this domain.
The officials said the dogs are being trained in the special skills of explosives detection and will be trained in VVIP security duties along with their handlers, who are specially chosen SPG personnel for the task.
A small batch of SPG dogs was trained and handed over to the premier VIP potection force by ITBP trainers early this year and after getting good reviews, the new large batch has been sent in, they said.
ITBP ‘K9’ squad and its trainers are one of the best in this domain and have been requisitioned by central security agencies everytime there is a high-profile event involving VVIPs and foreign dignitaries in the country.
The border guarding force is credited with introducing the Belgian ‘Malinois’ infantry patrol dogs in India which are now being extensively used by central security forces and police units in anti-Naxal operations and similar tasks.