March 23, 2010 10:48:15 pm
Due to shortage of horses,once considered an inseparable part of the Punjab Police in riot control,mounted police are fast getting limited to just ceremonial functions.
The mounted cops,earlier used in riots,religious functions,crowd control and dealing with other law and order situations,are nowhere to be seen.
Several districts in Punjab are ill-equipped to tackle such situations and have to depend solely on manpower. Reason: shortage of horses in districts and lack of infrastructure to manage them.
Earlier,we used to teach horse-riding to children,but now,we get to ride only once a week as there are no horses available, said a mounted policeman.
Owing to the importance of horses in the forces,the police had created a special cell for the mounted police,used extensively in controlling mobs and managing
In the recent past,however,the shortage of horses has hit the police hard and during mob fury,the work which was earlier done by a single horse is now left to many policemen, said a senior police officer.
Sources said during the recent violence in parts of Punjab in the districts of Barnala,Sangrur,Moga,Batala and others,the lack of horses really made things difficult for the police.
These districts are short of horses. With limited means available to shift horses from one district to another,the police have to look for other alternatives in controlling crowds, said an SSP,requesting anonymity .
Data in possession of The Indian Express has revealed there is shortage of horses with the police department in almost all districts against the sanctioned number.
An official letter prepared by the police department on the shortage of horses revealed that Mohali has a shortage of 10 horses,Patiala has 8 horses but falls short of 5,Sangrur has 8 horses sanctioned for it,but has none,Fatehgarh Sahib has no horse while it has been sanctioned 5,Barnala is short of 5 horses. Meanwhile,most other districts are short of horses.
Patiala IG Paramjeet Singh Gill accepted there was shortage in many districts and he would soon apprise his seniors on this issue.
We will get data from all districts and try to get the sanctioned numbers for all these districts, he told The Indian Express.
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