Dogs in the Indian army units have yet again proven that they are no less in commitment and making supreme sacrifices in line of duty, saving soldiers, and changing the course of the anti-terrorist operations in favour of the force with which they work. This fact came to light yet again on Tuesday when Kent, a female dog, made a supreme sacrifice in anti-terrorism operations in dense jungles and tough terrain in Rajouri district that borders Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir
The anti-terrorism operation in Rajouri district was on in treacherous terrain, and the things were made difficult and dangerous with terrorists opening fire from all sides on the army and police. In these circumstances, a dog of the Indian Army sacrificed her life while saving his handler. The anti-terrorism operation left a soldier and dog Kent, and two terrorists dead.
Kent was leading a column of soldiers on the trail of terrorists. It came down under heavy hostile fire. While shielding its handler, it laid down her own life, in what the army spokesperson described,“ in the best traditions of the Indian army.
The dog “Kent” came ahead of her handler and took bullets onto her, saving the soldier who had been with her for months. Both had developed a unique relationship and the moment dog sensed soldier was the target of terrorist’s fire, he jumped and sacrificed her life, in thew true soldierly spirit.
Army dogs form unique assets for army in anti-terrorism operations. They are crucial assets in tracing hideouts of terrorists, their locations, enabling soldiers to neutralize them. They sniff everything even in the middle of the dense forests and zero-population mountains. They serve as force-multipliers in such operations, and anti-infiltration grid along the LoC. They play a critical role in forewarning the soldiers about the movement of infiltrators. while the latest technology does its work, canine play their role in helping the army in neutralizing terrorists coming in from across the border. They have played a stellar role in foiling the infiltration bids.
Kent, a six-year-old female a Labrador had been part of the 21 Army Dog unit. The golden colour dog was put into service in May 2018, and she was known for her tracking skills. She had participated in a number of operations in Rajouri-Poonch belt.
The army has placed on record Kent’s work and sacrifice after the Rajouri operation.
It has been a tradition with the Indian army to honour and salute its dogs who sacrifice their life in anti-terrorism operations. This speaks of the bonds that the soldiers and dogs develop and how they sacrifice lives for each other.
In October last year, the army had organized a full-fledged military funeral for its assault canine, “Zoom”, who had laid his life in the line of duty. He had suffered gunshot wounds during operation Tangpawa on October 9, 2022 where he fought gallantly with terrorists, saving lives of soldiers. His selfless commitment and service to the nation will be remembered forever,” Srinagar-based Chinar Corps of the Indian army had written about the dog and his sacrifice while paying tributes to him.
Zoom was two years and one-month old Malinois, Belgian shepherd breed. He was in service for eight months at the time when he made the supreme sacrifice in an anti-terrorism operation in Kokkernag in South Kashmir district of Anantnag.
(Arun Joshi is author of “Eyewitness Kashmir; Teetering on Nuclear War and senior journalist based in Jammu and Kashmir, writes on South Asian affairs)
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