ITBP’s canine heroes safely back home after Kabul airlift

ITBP canines serving in Afghanistan return to India | Photo: ANI

When the Indian Air Force’s C-17 transport plane from Kabul landed in Jamnagar, Gujarat, on Tuesday, three canine heroes were among the evacuees, according to a report.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) combat dogs Maya, Bobby and Roobi returned to the country after serving at the Indian embassy in the Afghan capital, India Today said.

Maya, a Labrador, Bobby, a Doberman, and Roobi, a Malinois, safely returned to ITBP’s Chawala Camp in Delhi on Wednesday, the report said. They will soon be deployed with the forces’ anti-Naxal operations unit operating in Chhattisgarh, officials told PTI on Wednesday.

The canine heroes were on security duty at the embassy for the past three years. They helped detect IEDs and protected the lives of not only Indian diplomats, but also local civilians working in the embassy.

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Also read: Indian embassy staff reach home in high-risk evacuation by IAF

DIG (Vet) Sudhakar Natarajan told India Today TV about the “superb professional sound performance of the brave darlings – Maya, Roobi and Bobby – who have worked with zero error to sniff terror and secure Indian assets in Kabul during their deployment”.

Head constable (HC) Kishan Kumar, HC Bijender Singh and Ct Atul Kumar, the K9 handlers, told India Today that all three dogs were “extremely happy to reach India and come back to familiar sights, smells and sounds of our nation”.

IG Ishwar Singh Duhan sent congratulations to the “K9 handlers and the three brave and loyal heroes for the excellent account given in keeping with the rich ethos and traditions of ITBP”.

The dogs were raised and trained at the ITBP national training centre for dogs in Bhanu, near Chandigarh.

They were part of the 150-member Indian contingent, including 99 ITBP commandos, that took an IAF aircraft on Tuesday morning from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

With this de-induction, the entire strength of the force, which is primarily tasked to guard the Line of Actual Control, with China, has been withdrawn from that country.

Also read: Afghanistan crisis: Karzai meets leader of powerful Taliban faction

India had deployed more than 300 ITBP commandos for securing its embassy, consulates and diplomats in Afghanistan. It was first deployed to secure the premises of the Kabul Embassy and its residents in November 2002.

It later sent additional detachments to guard Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat.

The detachments from the consulates have already been withdrawn after they were shut recently due to the current crisis in the country and also due to negligible footfall as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the globe.

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