After celebrating its 71st Republic Day, India will wake up to an old tradition of police patrolling the streets of Mumbai, mounted on horses. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that after 88 long years, Mumbai will witness the police unit patrolling the traffic while mounted on horses. These horses will be deployed on streets after taking part in the Republic day parades at Shivaji Park.
According to Deshmukh, the mounted police unit was seen last in 1932, controlling the traffic. However, due to the congestion on the streets with the increased vehicular traffic, they were disbanded.
Today, when the crime rates, traffic and crowd is uninhibited, Deshmukh has decided to bring back the mounted police patrolling to improve the situation. He said, “Today Mumbai police has modern jeeps and motorcycles. However, it was felt that a mounted police unit would be useful for crime patrol in crowded areas. Accordingly, for the first time since Independence, Mumbai will have mounted police unit.”
He further added that the horses will be useful to control the crowds during festivals, marches and at the beaches. The police mounted on it will be more vigilant as they can inspect the streets from a good height. “A police mounted on a horseback is equal to 30 personnel on the ground”, claimed Deshmukh.
Speaking about the preparations of the mounted police unit, Deshmukh informed, “At present, 13 horses have been purchased and the rest will be bought in the next six months. A stable will be built on a 2.5-acre plot at Marol (in suburban Andheri).” In the next six months, he aims to have 30 horses deployed for the duty and the police unit will comprise of a sub-inspector, one assistant PSI, four havaldars and 32 constables. Police patrolling on the horseback is likely to be seen in adjacent cities like Nagpur and Pune too.
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