Meet Special Police Officer ‘Raja’, a three-legged canine keeping Pune lockdown violators in check

The reference 'Special Police Officer' (SPO) also has significance. At present, a large number of citizen volunteers, referred to as SPOs, are helping police across Pune city enforcing the lockdown.

A ‘Special Police Officer’ (SPO) assisting Pune City Police at the Balgandharva Auditorium checkpoint on Jangli Maharaj Road in the city has caught the attention of people after being singled out for praise by Pune Commissioner.

The official Twitter handle of Pune Commissioner on Saturday tweeted a photo of Raja, a three-legged dog who has been accompanying the on-duty cops at the checkpoint on this prominent road. “An ode to our Special Police Officer : Raja, the three-legged dog at the Balgandharva Nakabandi – a vigilant companion and a true friend who has been with our Officers, throughout the lockdown! (SIC)” read the tweet.

The tweet received several messages expressing care and concern for Raja. Replying to a tweet asking about Raja’s well-being and offering him treats, Pune police tweeted, “Heart-whelming to see so much love and concern for Raja. Looking at the sentiment, the whole team went to check he is being fed & taken care of. We want you to ‘STAY AT HOME’ as of now. Till then, be assured we are taking good care of Raja.”

A policeman posted at the checkpost said, “Raja has been accompanying us for a long time and has become like our team member. He lost his leg a long time ago. All of us here share food from our tiffins with him and at times dog lovers also offer him treats. It’s good to have a companion like this during our long duty hours.”

The reference ‘Special Police Officer’ (SPO) also has significance. At present, a large number of citizen volunteers, referred to as SPOs, are helping police across Pune city enforcing the lockdown. At least 20 SPOs assist teams from each police station in the city.

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A major chunk of police personnel from all jurisdictions across Maharashtra are currently deployed on ground to implement the restrictions that the state government has announced to check the surge in Covid cases.

For over a month, the Pune police have been tweeting under various headers capturing the lighter and candid moments from Covid-related deployment. One interesting series of tweets has been about funny excuses that people give to justify their movement during the lockdown. Other series of tweets are photos titled ‘Through the Barricade – A slice of life’, which captures moments at the road barricades and ‘Good Morning Pune’ — that captures police personnel on duty in the early hours of the day.

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