The first war memorial which is devoted to serviceanimals, which is being planned in Meerut is set to feature a heroine who losther life in a counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir in 2016.
The war memorial is also likely to feature some otherswho acquitted themselves creditably in the Kargil war India fought withPakistan in 1999.
The war memorial will be unique as it is devoted toservice animals, especially dogs, but also horses and mules. It will be thecountry's first war memorial and recognize heroics on the battlefield, devotionto duty and outstanding contribution to military service alongside soldiers, saidsenior officers.
The memorial will come up at the Remount andVeterinary Corps (RVC) Centre and College in Meerut where the army breeds,rears, and trains dogs, mules and horses.
One of the officers said that approval from the defence ministry is expected soon to construct a war memorial to commemorate RVC animals and men who have sacrificed their lives or have been commended for exceptional gallantry or distinguished service. The land has already been identified in Meerut and the preliminary design has been frozen. He also said that the monument would be similar to the National War Memorial in Delhi but on a smaller scale.
The names and service numbers of more than 300 dogs,350 handlers and a few horses and mules will be inscribed on granite tablets atthe memorial. The dogs include around 25 killed in actions during counter-insurgencyoperations in Jammu and Kashmir and the country's North-east, said the officer.
Topping the list of animals whose names will beinscribed on the memorial's walls is Mansi, a Labrador who was posthumously"mentioned in dispatches" (the highest honour that a dog can get in militaryservice in India) four years ago for her role in a counter-infiltrationoperation in north Kashmir, the second officer added.
Thearmy has more than 1,000 dogs, 5,000 mules and 1,500 horses.
FiveLabradors were awarded commendation cards on Army Day 2020 for helping soldierstrack down terrorists in J&K and sniffing out deadly explosives in theNorth-east last year.