In March 1993, a series of 12 bombs went off across Mumbai.
The serial blasts left 257 dead and 713 injured. But in the aftermath, an unlikely hero emerged. According to Reuters, a golden labrador named Zanjeer worked with the bomb squad and saved thousands of lives by detecting “more than 3,329 kgs of the explosive RDX, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades and 6,406 rounds of live ammunition.” He helped avert three more bombs in the days following the blasts.
On the 20th anniversary of the bomb blasts, an image of Zanjeer being honored by the city’s police has gone viral on Facebook.
The dog died of bone cancer in 2000, the Pune Mirror reported. He was eight years old. In the photo above, a senior police officer lays a wreath of flowers on Zanjeer as he was buried with full police honors at a widely-attended ceremony.
Mumbai’s police dog squad has been operational since December 1959, the Times of India reported. It began with just three Doberman Pinschers, who were used for tracking criminals.
A labor union leader and dog lover Dilip Mohite told Mid-Day that Zanjeer’s extraordinary detection skills deserved recognition.
“Policemen who die a martyr’s death get accolades, but canine members go unnoticed,” Mohite told the newspaper.