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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Delhi: Four horses retire after 12 years of service, mounted police unit down to zero

The four horses used to be deployed on VVIP routes and ceremonial duties during Republic Day and Independence Day.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: November 16, 2021 8:12:13 am
Delhi Mounted Police, Delhi Police, horses retire, horses, Remount Veterinary Corps, Rakesh Asthana, Delhi news, New DelhiThe horses in the unit used to be deployed on law-and-order duty (Express Photo)

Last month, the Delhi Mounted Police bid farewell to its last batch of horses — Rangeela, Rosy, Ratan and Kirtimaan, who had served in the unit for 12 years. With this, the unit’s strength is down to zero. However, it is set to get

95 new horses in the coming years. Of these, 15 will be procured from the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) of the Indian Army in the next few months. Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana has issued orders to this effect.

A senior police officer said the Delhi Mounted Police was established in 1930 and its sanctioned strength is 95: “Till last month, we had four horses but their tenure ended on October 31. Currently, they have been moved to the police training school to train the new horses. We have approached NGOs concerned to adopt them.”

The four horses used to be deployed on VVIP routes and ceremonial duties during Republic Day and Independence Day. They were also used to patrol forest areas near VVIP routes which couldn’t be covered on foot.

“After taking charge, Asthana sought a presentation from the Provisioning & Logistics unit. They informed him that earlier, the animals were used for crowd control during protests, but this stopped due to a shortage of horses. On an average, they were used for either patrolling or law and order duties for four-five hours (per day). Asthana was told that in 2005, horses were used for law-and-order duties for a total of 10,173 hours. Training programmes were also organised for the Mounted Police with the President’s Bodyguard and veterinary officers,” the officer said.

Except for 2019 due to shortage of horses, the Delhi Police Equestrian team had participated in several all-India Equestrian Meets and won several medals.

During the meeting, Asthana was told their proposal to procure 15 horses from the Army was pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs. “Asthana then discussed the proposal with the MHA and received sanction. The cost of the 15 horses would be Rs 92 lakh. It has been decided to increase the number in the coming months. A total of 95 horses will be procured as the mounted police is an integral part of the force and requires strengthening,” the officer said.

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