he Delhi Police has bought five new horses for its Mounted Unit. With the addition of these five stallions, the number of horses in the force has reached 18.
These horses, aged between five and six years, have been bought from the Indian Army and have been kept at the unit located at the Old Police Lines (OPL) in north Delhi.
The Delhi Police will use them for annual sports meet, VIP duties and ceremonial functions like the Independence Day and the Republic Day parade, said an official.
“They were bought recently from the Army’s breeding centre in Hempur in Uttarakhand and Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The price of horses ranges between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh each,” said a police officer and added among these five, two are mare and others are male.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Provisioning and Logistics) Vinit Kumar, the procurement of these stallions are the part of the process of buying more horses for the unit. As per plan, 10 more horses will be bought in the coming months, Kumar said.
The Mounted Unit of the Delhi Police had 95 horses when it was formed in 1930. The unit was neglected for years due to which the number of horses came down to five. In these years, the horses were bought but also got retired, an officer of the unit said.
In 2021, the force had decided to revive the unit by buying 15 horses. Last year, the force bought 15 horses and named them as - Arjun, Akash, Abhimanyu, Tilak, Shakti, Chetak, Saya, Bala, Vajra, Virat, Tagion, Dhruv, Jihan, and two mares Tara and Krishma. However, two of them were retired a few months later due to some medical problems.
“These horses were also bought from the Indian Army and we gave each of them different names. The naming of each animal depends on their activities and behaviour. The new ones will also be named soon,” another officer said.
Earlier, these stallions were mostly used for law and order duties. But these days, the police majorly depends on riot control vehicles and other gadgets to control the crowd.
The police had used these horses for maintaining law and order during the Trilokpuri riots in 2014. They were also used during the search operation for a missing JNU student in the jungle area of the university campus in 2016.
Another officer said the mounted unit is currently doing the preparation for All-India Sports Meet, which is scheduled to be held in Hyderabad in December. At least, eight horses are being trained to participate in the games like tent pegging, jumping hurdle and dressage.