Second station in Tiruchi Railway Division to have such a squad

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will soon raise a detective dog squad at Villupuram Railway Junction, a major station falling under the limits of Tiruchi Railway Division, as part of an effort to enhance security.

Villupuram will be the second station after Tiruchi Junction to have a dedicated detective dog squad in place.

A newly established kennel to house the sniffer dogs has already been opened at Villupuram Junction from where several long distance trains bound for different destinations branch off.

The squad will have two sniffer dogs to start with — one trained in detecting explosive and inflammable substances and the other would be a “tracker” used for crime detection.

Four field-level RPF personnel would be deputed as handlers to maintain the canines.

A proposal in this regard has already been forwarded to the Inspector General-cum-Chief Security Commissioner, RPF, Southern Railway, Chennai for approval. Funds for maintaining the canines have already been sanctioned.

RPF sources here told The Hindu that the Villupuram dog squad would be utilised for anti-sabotage and other missions at places including Villupuram, Puducherry, Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai and Vellore stations.

At present, dogs from Tiruchi squad were sent across the division that encompasses over 10 revenue districts in Tamil Nadu besides the Union Territory of Puducherry. The idea of forming a dog squad at Villupuram is cater to emergency requirements swiftly at the station and for those situated few hours from Villupuram without having to take the canines all the way from Tiruchi, a senior RPF official here said.

The RPF, which is entrusted with the responsibility of escorting passenger trains, providing security on platforms, passenger and circulating areas besides protecting railway property, has already brought Villupuram and Tiruchi Junctions under the scope of the Integrated Security Scheme to fortify security.