As a part of its plan to expand the number of horses and strengthen its mounted units which have had only 15 horses for several months now, Delhi Police is expected to receive 15 more horses ahead of the G-20 summit and will procure an additional 15 horses each year, officers said.
More stables will also be constructed to accommodate the animals.
A senior police officer told The Indian Express that a procurement request for 15 more horses was made around two to three months ago from the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) division of the Indian Army and the freshly trained batch is set to arrive in a few weeks. “The current plan is to have at least 30 horses in the mounted unit as the G20 summit is being held. The current strength of 15 horses has been in place for several months now…this is part of our action plan to procure 15 horses every year and restore capacity to the original sanctioned strength of 95…the (new) horses will be five to six years old,” the officer said.
He added: “Over time, the number of horses kept getting depleted as they lost their role in law and order, and procurement requests from police to the army reduced.”
Handled by the Delhi Police’s provisioning and logistics (P&L) unit, the mounted unit was established in 1930 and was initially used for law and order duties. Its role has now largely been reduced to participating in a set of events. “Be it the Delhi Police Raising Day parade, the Republic Day parade or police equestrian sports meets, the horses are trained round-the-year for such events…However, we keep getting requests from different district police for horses for combing operations in forest areas…the horses are already trained from the RVC’s depot in Saharanpur,” said an officer.
“There are currently more than 80 mounted police staff but several remain deployed for other law and order duties as there are not enough horses in the unit…two officers…are assigned for every horse…they take care of the horses and are responsible for ensuring that horses are fed a set diet of barley, bran and gram,” the officer said.
Another officer added that horses are expected to be in force during the G-20 summit and would be deployed at key areas, especially at spots close to forest areas, where foot patrolling is not possible and for combing operations. The horses generally retire between the age of 16 to 20 years.