Three highly trained sniffer dogs of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Maya, Roobie and Bobby have successfully been evacuated from Afghanistan along with Indian embassy staff and 126 commandos from the war-torn country following Taliban’s takeover. The director general of the force, SS Deswal, categorically told Ravikant Gautam, who was in-charge of security at Indian embassy in Kabul that at no cost should the K9 soldiers be left behind.
Reports note that it's three years now that Maya (a female Labrador), Roobie (a female Belgian Malinois) and Bobby (a male Doberman), have been the first responders to any threat faced by the Indian diplomats and averted several incidents. As soon as it was learnt that the second Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 plane was on its way to Hamid Karzai airport for evacuating all personnel on Tuesday, the handlers of Maya, Roobie and Bobby, all aged between 5 to 7 years, made arrangements for the transportation of the canines.
The flight reached Delhi late on Tuesday, after first landing at Jamnagar, following which the dogs were taken to ITBP’s Chhawla camp in South West Delhi, which has a special dog kennel. “They will rest and acclimatise themselves with Indian weather for four to five weeks,” said an official at ITBP’s K9 unit. During the three years for which they were deployed, the canine soldiers played an important role in the security of Indian embassy, the second most vulnerable establishment in Afghanistan after US bases.
“They have been successfully carrying out anti-sabotage duties at the Indian embassy at Kabul for the past three years, checking every bag, parcel and article coming inside as well as keeping an eye on people. They detected several suspected IEDs (improvised explosive devices) during this time, saving lives of not only Indian diplomats and security personnel but also Afghan civilians working there for the Indian government,” said the officer cited above.
Raised and trained at elite National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD) of ITBP at Bhanu in Panchkula, Maya, Roobie and Bobby will soon be redeployed, with anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh their likely next posting. ITBP has been deployed in Afghanistan since 2002 to secure the Indian embassy in Kabul and consulates at Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat.
While the four consulates were closed on different dates over the last two months due to Taliban’s advance, the embassy at Kabul was functional till Tuesday. There have been many attempts by terrorists to breach the security of the Indian embassy and consulates but all have been thwarted by the ITBP.