On the border, stray dogs are Army's new best friends
Ajay Sura, TNN 

AKHNOOR (JAMMU): While elsewhere in the country stray dogs are considered a
menace, in J&K they have become watchdogs for the Army against

The Army is training stray dogs for help in detecting intruders and thus
stop infiltration from across the border. The Line of Control (LoC) between
Akhnoor and Sunderbani sectors is regularly used by infiltrators to cross
fence. Though troops remains vigilant round-the-clock, there are some
moments when fence remains attended, giving enough time to intruders to
cross over. It is this gap that the Army hopes the dogs could fill.

At least 25 infiltrators have been killed by security forces in August
during encounters along LoC. Sources say most of these infiltrators are from
terrorist outfits like Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Al Badr and LeT. Col N K Airy,
spokesperson of the Army痴 10 division, says: 荘We decided to the train the
mongrels following shortage of pedigree dogs. They are smart and useful in
this terrain.鋳

Col Airy says the strays can recognise troops and civilians and starts
barking whenever they observe any movement of strangers near the fence.
荘They cannot be identified by the infiltrators.鋳 It is easy to train these
dogs, which do not need special diet like the breeds. 荘They learn quickly
with little training,鋳 says Col Airy.

The international border from Jammu to Chamb is guarded by the BSF. The LoC
is guarded by the 10 division of the Army. The area is difficult to guard
because of the terrain and the Chenab river that flow into Pakistan. 荘We
have all the best possible means to stop the infiltration but these local
dogs have emerged as an amazing security tool for us,鋳 says a senior army

The Army has sophisticated gadgets like sensors, thermal imagers and
advanced infantry weapons, but infiltrators find gaps to sneak in. Recently
soldiers at Akhnoor sector found folded ladders near the high fence. On
another occasion, troops detected a 50-metre long tunnel during a search at
Chapriyal in the sector.

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