HYDERABAD: Picture this: A terror attack takes place in Hyderabad and the terrorists are holed up in a hotel. The police, instead of sending in armed personnel to take out the terrorists, send in dogs! That is exactly what the AP police are planning to do when terror attacks take place. They have come up with a proposal to have what they call Assault Dog Squads to counter terrorist holdups.
Sources told Express that the assault dog squads, reportedly a brainchild of DGP V Dinesh Reddy, are likely to be raised shortly. The top brass are yet to finalise which breed of dog to use for the purpose. The bomb squads currently use some 200 Labradors.
‘’The idea is that instead of men, the dogs will be sent inside to incapacitate the militants,’’ sources explained. Though no other state has assault dog squads, one such squad is said to be available with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). “Such squads exist in the US,” sources said. If the plan takes shape, the assault dog squads would be made available to the anti-Naxal Greyhounds and the anti-terror organisation, Octopus. It has not yet been decided where they would be trained and who would train them. The required expertise is not available with the state police.
Sources said dog squads would be of no use in anti- Naxal operations and that the idea has been mooted only for anti-terror ops. They further explained that having such a squad may go a big way towards checking casualties involved in anti-terror operations.
“During the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, when the attackers took control of Hotel Taj, would it not have been a good idea to send in assault dogs? We could have saved the lives of some commandos,’’ they said.