‘Special 78’ sniff out murderers for Nepal PoliceAfter a 10-year-old girl’s rape and subsequent murder in Pokhara, the Kaski Police turned to Kushal for assistance, who tracked the perpetrator by sniffing the stone used as a murder weapon.
After a 10-year-old girl’s rape and subsequent murder in Pokhara, the Kaski Police turned to Kushal for assistance, who tracked the perpetrator by sniffing the stone used as a murder weapon.
Some hundred meters away from the victim’s maternal home, Kushal led the police from the crime scene to the murderer’s house.
On Tuesday, Nepal Police decorated Kushal with the highest honour for his kind — ‘The Best Dog of the Year’, at an event held at the Central Police Dog Training School in the Capital to observe Kukur Tihar and to mark 50 years of service by the canine unit.
Dog service in Nepal Police started in 1968 after some police officers received training and returned with four trained dogs from Malaysia. Six years later, the Police Dog Section was set up and 10 officers were deputed. A full-fledged central training school was set up 15 years later with regional sections in the five development regions.
Inspector Ram Chandra Satyal said, “Police dogs are professionally trained following the specialisations of each breed. Handling and training the dogs require skilled manpower.”
The canine unit under Nepal Police Canine Operations Division currently boasts 78 trained dogs of eight different breeds, all known for their alertness, strength, intelligence and obedience and their sniffing and tracking skills. The ‘Special 78’ includes breeds such as German Shepherd, Belgium Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, Beagle, Labrador, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and the Bloodhound.
Bloodhounds standout for their sniffing prowess. Nepal Police have added two of this breed to their canine unit.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Shankar Prasad Ghimire said, “Their special ability to discern human scent over great distance, even days later will helps us arrest murderers.” He has been training Jojo, the unit’s two and a half year old hound, since he was nine months.
The division currently deploys police dogs at the international airport in the Capital and in state police offices in Province 1, 3, 4 and 6 where the canine unit and their handlers work around the clock for to ensure security of passengers and to control trafficking in banned goods.
Inspector General of Police Sarbendra Khanal said, “Police dogs have been assisting Nepal Police for a very long time and have helped us in arresting criminals and safeguarding VIPs and public by detecting explosives. The skills set of our dog handlers and trainers will be upgraded as their role is vital in training the dogs.”
From hunting murderers, rapists, smugglers to averting grave situations, the canine unit is Nepal Police’s partner in fighting crimes. They have sniffed out drugs, explosives, hazardous chemicals, arms and ammunitions, and have even rescued citizens during disasters. They are an integral part of police surveillance teams at airports, border zones and VIP movements.
In 2005, police dogs had averted a deadly terrorist attack in Pokhara by finding a 20kg explosive installed under the ground at the entrance of the stadium. Similarly, in 2007, police dogs also detected arms in the vehicle, in which the former American President Jimmy Carter was about to board on.
Division’s in-charge Senior Superintendent of Police Dr Deuti Gurung told the Post, “Police dogs retire after they are physically unfit to continue their dexterous work. Most of the time, they are adopted by good Samaritans. Police dogs assist us when we need them the most. It is our responsibility to provide them quality life post retirement.”