New Delhi: Dog squads will soon be deployed at the Attari-Wagah international transit point by customs authorities to sniff out drugs being smuggled into India from Pakistan.
According to a Finance Ministry proposal, around 130 canines will be trained in batches at National Training Center for Dogs (NTCD) in Madhya Pradesh in the next two years. As a pilot project, the customs department has bought four dogs of Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd breeds and sent them for training along with their handlers at NTCD earlier this month.
"Initially, the dogs will be deployed at Attari (India-Pakistan border in Punjab) and at Indira Gandhi International Airport after six months training at NTCD. Later, the canines will also be put on duty at other important air and land international transit points," a ministry official said.
The decision is part of a multi-layer security arrangement being put in place by customs authorities at all the international air and land customs points in the country to check smuggling.
The drugs are generally smuggled through 'savaris' or stuffed in false bottoms of luggage from Pakistan.'Savari' is a passenger who is lured by drug mafia in Pakistan for carrying narcotics to India.
At present, customs authorities have no canine at Wagah international border post, about 30 kms from Amritsar. "Two dogs earlier posted in Attari had passed away and a need was being felt to have dogs at the check point. They will assist customs authorities posted there in carrying out their duties," the official said.