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Flights grounded, CISF and their canine buddies still on watch at IGIA

Flights grounded, CISF and their canine buddies still on watch at IGIA

NEW DELHI: At the time of COVID-19 crisis, 25 canines of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) have been regularly patrolling the premises of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) to ensure that there is no attempt of sabotage. Since the suspension of international and domestic flights, several international evacuation flights have been operated by various countries, including India, to either fly stranded Indians back or evacuate their citizens from India.

According to one CISF official, "We are continuing our sweeping operation. Our personnel along with a canine team, they keep on patrolling looking for items unattended and also ensuring that there is no sabotage from anti-social elements." According to the CISF, nowadays due to lock down, there are not many movements at the airport. Although Terminal-3 is operational, there is a limited number of flights (cargo, rescue and evacuation flights) they have deployed canine and anti-sabotage team for safety and security. "There is a 4-hour shift for a canine and at every shift two canines are available," an official said.

He further added that all 25 canines were trained for nine months in the training centre. During COVID-19 outbreak, when there were lots of passengers at IGIA, canines served as a force multiplier for CISF. "Before deployment of canines, we first ensured about the risk of COVID-19 on dogs after we are fully confirmed that virus will not affect, then deployments were made," the official said.

Srikant Kishore, DIG, CISF told Millennium Post," Canines are one of the most trustworthy and essential parts of security forces as far as detection of explosives is concerned. There sniffing capability are par excellence. None of the technical gadgets come close to them." Hemendra Singh, CISF PRO, said, canines are the best friend for humans from the beginning and that is the reason forces started using them.

"With specific training, they are very useful. What machines can't do, they can," he said. Last year, for the first time, the CISF had organised a felicitation ceremony for retired canines of CISF Unit in Shas- tri Park. During their tenure, all seven (07) retired canines of CISF Unit DMRC Delhi participated in several Mock Exercises, Anti-Sabotage Checks of metro premises and also successfully cleared several unattended bags found in metro premises.

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