In an attempt to beef up security at the SAARC summit venue, at Tribhuvan International Airport, the hotels where the VVIPs will be staying, the routes they will travel and at sightseeing venues, police have intensified the training of dogs for the identification of arms, bombs and explosives.
The Central Police Dog Training School (CPDTS) at Maharajgunj has trained about 16 bomb sniffer dogs, also known as explosives detector dogs, and vital spots will be screened with these dogs starting from five days prior to the inauguration of the summit. Similarly, sniffings will be carried out throughout the summit and last till the VVIPs and VIPs return home.
Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), which already has three dogs that can detect bombs and explosives, has sought five more dogs from CPDTS, according to the dog unit at TIA.
TIA is the only entry route for VVIPs and VIPs attending the summit and there is greaster concern over the arrivals, said TIA security chief Bijaya Lal Kayastha adding, the trained dogs will be deployed along routes and in vicinities as per the security plan. “The use of dogs will be limited at present to specific areas of the airport, their deployment will be random, and passengers will not be screened with the dogs,” he said.
According to CPDTS, eight bomb-sniffer dogs will be deployed at TIA, three at the summit venue at the City Hall, three at the ministerial meeting venue at Singha Durbar, three at the retreat center in Dhulikhel, Kavre District and three at the residences of the VVIPs. Bilateral talks will take place at the retreat center and the VVIPs will be airlifted there in view of the security sensitivities, according to police.
DSP Pramod Raj Bhatta at CPDTS said, “As per the directions from Police Headquarters, we are prepared for the sniffer dog deployment and more than 20 dog handlers will be in position during the summit period.” The dog service will be availed round the clock at the international airport to help discourage and control suspicious activities, DSP Bhatta added.
Bomb dogs are used to check and minimize losses to humans and public properties by identifying any arms and explosives that could be used by undesirable elements.
About 14,000 kinds of explosives are made from components such as nitrogen, nitrate, nitramine and acid salts. Of late, improvised chemical explosives (ICE) have been used by some extremists and terrorists groups abroad, but the dogs here are not used to such explosives, DSP Bhatta said. ICE is formed with certain ratios of chemicals that are not contraband.
Dog handlers have sought equipment and disposal units for higher success rates with the dogs. The success rate is only 32 percent for manual explosive detection, 50-60 percent with the use of detectors and 70-80 percent with the use of dogs. If a joint squad is used the success rate is assumed to be around 95 percent, according to experts.