Drone, a CRPF sniffer dog, died on Tuesday in an improvised explosive blast triggered by Maoists at Marwa forests in Jharkhand's Gumla district while his handler Vishwajeet Kumbkar was injured, a top police official said.
Drone, however, did not die in vain, as the blast he triggered while searching for explosives saved the lives of the crack CoBRA commandos with whom he was serving.
The sniffer dog has in the past too saved a whole team of CoBRA commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from a similar bomb attack by sniffing out explosives.
Jharkhand police spokesperson and Inspector General of Police (Operations) A.V. Homkar said the injured jawan, Vishwajeet Kumbkar, was airlifted from the spot and admitted to Ranchis Medica hospital.
"In an unfortunate incident, a sniffer dog belonging to 203 CoBRA,CRPF was martyred in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Blast triggered by Maoists during an operation in Gumla district," a statement from the police headquarters said.
Aged 6 years and 9 month, Drone, a male Belgian Shepherd dog of the Malinois variety, was serving with 203 CoBRA since December 27, 2015, the statement said.
"He had participated in 83 operations in almost all parts of Jharkhand state. One of his great achievements was on April 7, 2016 in Parasnath area where he found four containers of 40 kgs explosive each. That also contained detonators, cortex, mobile phone, walky talky, GPS which helped in avoiding any mishap and saved valuable lives," it said.
He was part of an operation in Gumla , where with his bravery and sacrifice he saved a whole team of CoBRA commandos from a powerful IED blast around 0730 am but was himself martyred in the process, the CRPF statement said.
"His selfless sacrifice will never be forgotten and will always be remembered as an act of valour. Shaheed Drone was cremated with a guard of honour and as per laid down procedure of the force," the police said.
Earlier, the headquarters had said that extremists had laid vast traps of IEDs in the entire area and a few villagers had died while grazing cattle in similar IED blasts laid by extremists in the forests.
In May this year, security forces had neutralised an extremist in an encounter in the same forest and recovered a stolen police pistol, .303 rifle, 63 live cartridges and 24 can-bombs.