Dog Squad: BSF’s ‘Force Multiplier’

AGARTALA:

The April nights always seemed dark and deep at Boxanagar, and the intensity of darkness on April 8 this year was a bit more than the usual. In the bordering areas, the situation was far more favorable for the criminals involved in trans-border crimes.

Accordingly, one Manir Hussain of Boxanagar was all set to jump the fencing with some narcotic goods to be smuggled in the neighboring Bangladesh.

He somehow managed to escape the BSF jawans manning the borders and was quite sure that he had succeeded in his mission. Little did he know within few hours he would be chased down by the local police and BSF Jawans.

All thanks to Anu and Priya of BSF dog squad posted in infantry patrolling who tracked Manir Hussain and chased him till he surrendered with 975 Yaba tablets along with an amount of 6,000 Bangladeshi currencies. However, he was not alone, earlier Anu and Priya had recovered a lot of such items and chased many smugglers.

“Dog Squad is an integral part of BSF. In last three years—between 2016 to 2019, the dog squad alone sniffed, sometimes, tracked smuggling items which worth more than Rs 5 crore. Some of the dogs were also rewarded for their implacable skills. And, Anu and Priya are one of the bests” said a highly placed source in the BSF.

According to Dr. Raj Mahesh, one among the two vets BSF Tripura frontier has, there are three types of dogs in the dog squad in view of their duties—infantry patrolling, trackers and explosives and narcotics detectors. Generally each of the battalion should have 4 dogs each. Dogs are regarded to be the force multipliers in BSF.

Speaking to this correspondent, he also said, generally, each of the battalion should have 4 dogs each, but in Tripura, the number is lesser than that of requirement. There are 48 dogs in Tripura deployed in 25 BOPs throughout the state. 39 of them are of Labradors and rests of them are German Shepherds. German Shepherds are basically used in infantry patrolling and sniffing whereas Labradors are good trackers.

While asked of the working life, he said, in BSF their working life in ten years. After ten years, we check the fitness of the dog, the dog found fitted for services, it continues otherwise, we conduct public auctions for the dog. Usually, people are crazy about the dogs that served in forces due to their intensive and ferocious skills. Moreover, as the dogs were auctioned in less than the market rates, people love to have a good friend and protector combo from BSF, he added.

Replying to a question on foods, he said, both type of foods—traditional and palliated is served as per the choice of the dog. The dog handlers, who were appointed through interviews understand the mood and serve the plates accordingly.

Notably, BSF dogs were trained at BSF academy Tekanpur. This academy also trains dogs for state police BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) and some of the police forces of South East Asian Countries.