Tamil Nadu

Mounted police force ready to gallop ahead

The police have inducted 21 new horses into mounted horses unit in Egmore.  

Prince Valiant, Hall The King, Grand Celebration and Reynolds are the sort of names one would find in horse race reports. These are indeed the names of horses but they are going to help control crime in the city.

Chennai’s mounted police branch was down to 13 horses. On Monday, when Police Commissioner A. K. Viswanathan formally inducted 21 horses and declared them to be part of the force, the unit got its sanctioned equine strength.

Most of the horses have been donated by breeders such as the Chettinad Stud and Agricultural Farms and the Madras Race Club. On Monday, Mr. Viswanathan also inaugurated the renovated premises of the mounted branch at Pudupet that features a riding track and sand bath.

Additional Commissioner of Police S.N. Sesha Sai told The Hindu, “These new breeds are being trained by our personnel. After training them, we will use them every day in the mornings and evenings for patrolling and surveillance on Marina Beach. They will be deployed for law and order duty and crowd control during festivals, besides being used for ornamental purposes on occasions such as Independence Day and Republic Day.”

Mr. Viswanathan said, “For the welfare of the animals, we have created facilities such as sand bath, riding track and air-conditioned stables so they can withstand the summer heat.” He added, “Our idea is to make the horses compete in national-level championships and excel in law and order maintenance.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police G. Saravanan said that in the 218-year history of the force, for the first time 21 horses were inducted into service at one go.

Origins in 1670

Police records say that the mounted branch can be traced back to the year 1670 and was created by the then Provincial Governor Sir William Langdon. In 1780, sergeants were recruited as the Governor’s guards. In 1800, the term mounted police branch came into force during the tenure of Walter Grant, Superintendent of Police.

In 1926, the mounted branch of the Madras City Police was formed under a sergeant with horses exclusively for patrolling the city. Some 41 horses were added to its stable. However, after the induction of motor vehicles for patrolling, the strength of the horses was reduced from 56 to 34.

The Mounted Branch’s main building was built in the 18th century. The city police has now allocated ₹32.5 lakh for the renovation of the building which is in poor shape.

After losing a horse to summer heat, air-conditioned stables have been constructed that can accommodate five horses.

Care by experts

Police say a team of veterinarians and 40 syces take care of the horses. The horses get the correct feed and also receive periodic sunbath and massages. “We constantly check the health of the horses. Once in three months, we conduct general health checks, clinical examination and other tests,” said Ravi Sunder George, head, Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiotherapy of Tamil Nadu Veterinary University.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 10:20:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/mounted-police-force-ready-to-gallop-ahead/article23806711.ece

Next Story