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Friday, October 14, 2016

Caesar, one of the heroes of 26/11 passes away !!

There is oft repeated phrase ‘It's a dog's life’ – meaning  life is hard and unpleasant.  There is another phrase associated with dog – ‘dog’s day’…. dog days refers to the sultry days of summer . … .. one may not feel comfortable when a group of stray dogs are growling and one has to pass by ! … this is a post on a ‘dog hero’.

In the beautiful motherland, there have been debates on surgical strikes with politicians calling for proof !! -  Nation can never forget 26/11 when it was  under siege by militants from across the border.  How many felt sorrowed and spoke for those martyrs of Police and jawans of the motherland ??

On 21st   Nov 2012, -  Ajmal Kasab, the living  face of Mumbai terror  was hanged, almost  4 years after that incident that shocked India and entire World. The Nation can never forget that dreaded  day in 2008 when  Kasab and nine Pakistani gunmen launched a bloody attack on multiple locations in south Mumbai. In this great Nation of ours, even the killer was given a fair trial – the entire legal process unfolded with Kasab being served food and he asking for Urudu papers and more.  India took  the trouble to conduct and ensure, that it believed in a proper justice system and would deal with attacks against its people according to the law.

There were so many victims whose pathetic cases were buried deep – and that was not restricted to humans.  In Dec 2014,  Sheru, a stray dog who took terrorists' bullets at CST during the 2611 attack died of a cardiac arrest after surviving a few years.  The stray canine had been living on the streets outside the CST till it was hit by two bullets when the station became one of the targets of terrorists on November 26, 2008. Admitted to the hospital soon after, the dog was christened Sheru at the facility. While the bullet that had pierced Sheru's back was extricated in a surgery conducted at the hospital, the other one remained lodged in his neck till the end. It was reasoned that  the second bullet was not removed was that it had lodged itself in the respiratory tract.

There were canine heroes ~ Caesar, the last of the four police dogs who saved many lives during November 26, 2008 terror attacks and helped in various criminal cases died at a retirement animal home in Virar on Thursday morning. His handlers from the Bomb and Detection Squad (Goregaon police) were present during the funeral, which was done with the National Flag draped over Caesar.

The retirement home owner is quoted as saying that  13-year-old Caesar succumbed to old age. “He was suffering from depression, as his earlier colleagues, Max, Tiger and Sultan died a few months ago. He was admitted in the Animal Hospital in Parel for arthritis and other old age ailments for a month and miraculously recovered. But since the past week, there was a relapse,” said Shah.  She went on to add that Caesar was posted at Taj Hotel during the 26/11 terror attack and saved many lives. The four police canines had retired from the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) last year, and the other three had died within four months of each other. “When Sultan first died, Tiger went into depression, and since Tiger died Caesar had been unwell. Caesar would just sit beside Tiger’s grave and mourn his death,” said the activist.

All four of them were part of major bomb blasts in the last 12 years,including the 2006 serial blasts as well as the bomb blasts in Zaveri Bazaar. In fact, Caesar recovered 8 kg of RDX from the Taj hotel area during the 2008 terror attack, said Shah. The canine had also found many bombs in various areas of CST and other areas.

Caesar was brought to the Animal Hospital, Parel in an animal ambulance and he was cremated in the presence of his handler Santosh from Mumbai Police.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Oct 2016.

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