GUWAHATI, Jan 9 - In an embarrassing turn of events, canine experts of the Border Security Force (BSF) have rejected dogs handpicked by the Assam Police terming them ‘unfit’ for tracking, sniffing and other law-and-order exercises.
Trainers at the Madhya Pradesh-based National Centre for Training of Dogs (NCTD), functioning under the BSF have declared as many as five pups unfit from among the 15 sent for training in tracking and sniffing of explosives and narcotics.
The 15 pups were bought recently at a cost of nearly five lakh rupees and are mostly labrador, German shepherd and doberman.
Declared as a centre of excellence by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the NCTD has been imparting training to dogs and handlers for Central police organisations, state police forces and other law enforcement agencies of India and several foreign nations since 1970.
The development has not gone down well with the home department, which has now expressed serious apprehensions over the entire process of purchasing police dogs under the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Sources told The Assam Tribune that this is not the first time that NCTD has expressed its displeasure with the quality of dogs. In fact, experts at the centre had time and again expressed reservations over the quality of dogs handpicked by the Assam Police, but to no avail.
“In fact, there were occasions when it was apparent that pups bought from a particular firm were over-aged and quality was compromised by those entrusted with the job of buying the pups. As a result of this, their performance on the ground suffers and they also tend to get sick regularly,” sources privy to the development told this reporter.
“Those dealing in pups very often issue fake age certificates and Assam Police has been at the receiving end of such malpractices. No wonder, the performance of the dog squad is far from satisfactory unlike what it is in the Army or BSF,” sources opined.
A recent performance report of the CID stated that of the 2,000 cases where the dog squad was pressed into service by the investigating team in the last 20 months or so, only 43 cases could be successfully detected.
Sources in the BSF also confided that the rates at which the pups are brought by Assam Police are also higher keeping in view the quality and breed specifications.
Assam Police sources while confirming the development said that the matter has been taken seriously and an internal inquiry would be initiated.
“The firm from which the dogs were bought has reportedly refused to take back the pups rejected by the BSF, meaning financial loss to the State exchequer,” sources added.