Zanjeer- Gone but not forgotten!!
19 Jun 2016
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Gone, but not forgotten...!! This epitaph deserves to be etched on the tomb of a celebrated Golden Retriever that our Indian military recruited into its forces, years ago. Twenty years have passed, but Zanjeer is still fondly remembered and his memories still linger in our hearts. A dog with a long successful trail had left the entire nation misty eyed and in mourning on that fateful day in 2000 when he succumbed to bone cancer at barely 8 years of age.
Image source: zeenews.india.com
Early stages of Zanjeer’s career
Zanjeer or Ginger, as he was fondly named by his handlers, was rigorously trained in Pune, Maharashtra, before commencing his career with the Bombay bomb detection service squads. Before his entry into the squad, Mumbai police had three Dobermen dogs that were deployed for detonating bombs and drugs. It was at this point that Zanjeer breezed in, as a whiff of fresh air that enlivened the stressful schedules of the Bombay Police.
Zanjeer’s brave exploits
His career started with a bang when he first detonated a scooter bomb that contained explosives and gelatine sticks. He then successfully detected pistols, rifles, and grenades that were hidden in ten unclaimed suitcases at the premises of the SIddhivinayak temple. Two suitcases at Zaveri Bazaar had kept the police guessing and on tenterhooks. Zanjeer was alerted and sent to the spot where, upon investigation, unearthed 56 fully loaded rifles.
Finally the 1993 serial blast!
His final day of recognition was due to arrive soon. On the fateful day of March 1993, where a deadly serial bomb blasted across the entire Mumbai area, wrapping the entire city in disbelief and shock. Zanjeer took over, worked with the squad, revived lives and prevented bloodshed by detecting more than 3,329 kgs of the explosive RDX, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades and 6406 rounds of live ammunition. It was a bloody massacre that killed 257 and fatally injured 713 people. Within a short while of this occurrence, he detonated bombs in three more similar incidents and saved thousands of lives. It was an event to remember, even after 20 long years,for the Mumbai Police who seized this opportunity to honour Zanjeer at that juncture. Facebook video carrying this event has gone viral on the web.
1993 Bombay Blast. Image source: www.indiatoday.intoday.in
Rest in Peace, Zanjeer!!
Unfortunately, a winsome career was nipped short in the bud when Zanjeer finally succumbed to bone cancer in 2000. Police force placed a wreath of flowers on his body which was later buried with full state honours. This event was very well attended by the officers and civilians who looked on, teary-eyed, as the martyr was laid to rest and allowed to rest in peace.
Photo of Zanjeer, the brave dog. Image Courtesy: blog.petdom.in
Do war dogs die unnoticed?
Labour union minister Mohite remarked that Zanjeer’s detection skills were worthy of wide recognition and that canine forces usually die unnoticed without receiving accolades.
Zanjeer has indeed set an example for our human military war heroes with regards to patriotism and bravery. His detection capabilities were beyond compare and went largely unnoticed. Dogs like these are remembered as household names and eulogized for their intrinsic patriotism. Long live Zanjeer, in the brave hearts of India.