Mudhol hounds, a breed of hunting dogs native to north Karnataka, could be inducted into the Special Protection Group (SPG), the elite force protecting the Prime Minister of India.
- The dogs already serve with the Indian armed forces and some paramilitary forces and could become the first indigenous breed to be part of the SPG.
- The Mudhol hounds are believed to have been bred first by Raja Malojirao Ghorpade of the erstwhile Deccan kingdom of Mudhol.
- Known for their hunting and guarding skills, the characteristically lanky Mudhol hounds get their name from the erstwhile kingdom of Mudhol (in present-day Bagalkot), whose rulers first began to breed them.
- The dogs are fast runners, with excellent stamina and agility, and have a sharp vision and a keen sense of smell.
What is SPG?
- The Special Protection Group is responsible for the safety and security of the Prime Minister. The SPG protects the Prime Minister at all times both in India and abroad, as well as his immediate family members residing with them at their official residence.
- The agency was formed in 1988 by an Act of the Parliament of India. In 2019, the law was amended and as it stands today, SPG protection is granted only to the Prime Minister of India.
- Headquartered at Dwarka in southwest Delhi, the SPG draws its personnel — both men and women — from the Central Armed Police Forces (such as the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and the Railway Protection Force Service.
- They are all volunteers — the best of the best, who have made the cut after a rigorous, three-tier screening process.
- One would normally notice them in close proximity to the prime minister always dressed in black, Western-style formal business suits, with sunglasses, and carry a two-way encrypted communication earpiece, and concealed handguns.