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'He Passed Away...Like a Saint, A Real Soldier': Indian Army Pays Tribute to Canine Hero Dutch

Dutch’s handler and officers at the Army dog unit in Assam fondly remember him as daring, well-trained and a true silent warrior.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:September 14, 2019, 1:26 PM IST
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'He Passed Away...Like a Saint, A Real Soldier': Indian Army Pays Tribute to Canine Hero Dutch
File photo of the canine warrior

Guwahati: “He passed away in his sleep - like a saint, a real soldier,” said one of the officials at 19 Army dog unit at the demise of Dutch, a canine warrior who had served the Indian Army for nine long years, and would have retired this month.

Dutch’s handler and officers at the Army dog unit in Assam fondly remember him as daring, well-trained and a true silent warrior. He died on September 11, 2019, and the entire unit paid tribute to his bravery at a solemn funeral service.

The Indian Army on Saturday dedicated a social media post to their canine soldier, stating that Dutch died due to ‘natural reasons’ - showing patriotic heroism over the years. Dutch would have spent the rest of his days at Geriatric Care and Rehabilitation Centre for retired military dogs at Meerut’s Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Centre and College, but he now rests in peace at the graveyard compound of his unit.

Born in April 2010 at the RVC Centre & College, Dutch was one of the most decorated dogs in the Indian Army. In the course of his working life as an Explosive Detection (ED) dog, he had saved lives of both civilians and soldiers during counter-insurgency operations under Eastern Command.

In November 2014, during the Prime Minister’s visit to Guwahati, Dutch while carrying out his sniffing duties, confirmed the presence of a 7 kg IED inside a coach of Kamakhya Express at Alipurdwar. A month later, in December 2014, Dutch was instrumental in sniffing out a powerful 6 kg Improvised explosive Device (IED) from a public bus in Assam’s Goalpara district.

The canine officer was awarded with the GOC–in -C Eastern Command commendation for his bravery in 2015 and 2016. Dutch remains a symbol of military bravery and heroism to this day.

Retired Colonel Dilip Kumar Borah, a Kargil war veteran, believes that military dogs fully deserve the recognition.

“What military dogs like Dutch deserve for serving the nation is a life of dignity – they save lives with minimum fuss and are soldiers’ best friend during disaster management, anti-terrorist operations, bomb detection. Extremely devoted to the handler, they live for each other,” said Col Borah.

The military dog units in Northeast have a host of Labradors and German Shepherds that have undergone varied levels of training, and wait to put their skills to test - they can detect weapons, bombs, narcotics and other substances more accurately than any available military equipment. Sharing the same risks as soldiers on ground, these canine warriors are ready for any military operation anywhere in the region.

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