A head constable in Vijayawada, who has been a dog handler working with police sniffer dogs for 15 years, has alleged that the canines in the city are not entirely fit for performing their duties. He also alleged that he had been unduly transferred from dog handling duties for raising this issue with senior officials, asking them to relieve the dogs that were not very efficient and let them rest. While his allegations created a controversy among Vijayawada police, Commissioner of Police B Srinivasulu has denied these allegations.
In a self-recorded video addressing Chief Minister YS Jagan, head constable Srinivasa Rao said that from March 2005 to April 2020, he worked with police sniffer dogs, starting as Vijayawada city explosive sniffer dog handler, and later as Vijayawada CSW (City Security Wing) dog squad in-charge head constable. He claimed that in these 15 years, he had not seen the sniffer dogs identifying explosives or identifying culprits without heavy support from the Law and Order police. He alleged that the dog squadâ€™s performance of duties was inefficient, and that at any time, on ground, they have not been able to fully pass the tests prescribed for them in the rulebooks.
Srinivasa Rao alleged that since he had been raising concerns over this issue since 2018, he was transferred suddenly without prior information in April this year, as a result of his complaints. â€śSuddenly, they removed me from dog handler duties, and sent me for AR (armed reserve) head constable duties,â€ť he said, adding that he was unable to pass the tests required to perform his duties. He requested the Chief Minister to allow him to take voluntary retirement.
A rejoinder from the Vijayawada Commissioner of Police denied Srinivasa Raoâ€™s allegations. The Commissioner claimed that police sniffer dogs in the city have aided security arrangements and allowed the city police to conduct major events and clear VIP/VVIP routes, by performing their duties well.
â€śThe sniffer dogs are regularly supervised by a veterinary doctor, and their health is taken care of. Their duties are being carried out well,â€ť the Commissioner said.
He also said that Srinivasa Raoâ€™s transfer from dog squad to armed reserve duty was a routine transfer. Srinivasa Rao has been unwell and been on sick leave since last September, the Commissioner said, adding that no disciplinary action has been taken against him so far, and that he hasnâ€™t applied for voluntary retirement with any senior officers.