New Delhi: A special sniffer dog squad of ITBP has been brought in to the national capital to sanitise the locations which are on the itinerary of US President Barack Obama for his visit later this month to take part in the Republic Day celebrations.
Officials said that Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)'s elite dog squad is usually used in the "most important" assignments and these 30 sniffer dogs will be deployed for sanitisation of the parade route along Rajpath and adjoining areas, Rashtrapati Bhavan, five-star hotels and other venues which Obama will cover when he visits here for being the chief guest at the Republic Day function.
The border-guarding force's 'K9' squad will be performing the most important sanitisation tasks in the inner ring along with sniffer dogs of other agencies like Delhi Police, NSG, CISF and CRPF, a senior official said.
"They (the sniffer dogs) have already begun their job, but the last few days in the lead up to Republic Day and the US President's visit will be the testing time for the squad," the official added.
ITBP's dog training centre in Chandigarh has been nominated as the centre of excellence in this domain and the paramilitary force is credited with conducting some of the most pioneering tasks in this area like introducing the first- ever infantry patrol dog breed, 'Malinois', in the country, on the lines of similar units raised by NATO forces and the United States Navy SEALS commandos.
"The squad which will be used for Republic Day duties comprises Labradors and German Shepherds. They will be working in coordination with sniffer dog squads of other security agencies," a senior official said.
The credibility of the ITBP dog squad can be gauged from the fact that they were specially called in last year to sanitise the swearing-in ceremony venue of the Narendra Modi Cabinet at Rashtrapati Bhavan and also to sweep the hotels and venues where the leaders from SAARC countries were staying prior to the ceremony.