The Maharashtra home department has approved the formation of mounted police unit with 30 horses for Mumbai Police. Currently, the unit has 13 horses in its stable.
A notification issued by the state government on May 25 stated that the Mounted Police Unit will be working under the additional commissioner of police (armed police) and will be headed by the deputy commissioner of police (local arms) in Marol, Andheri.
A 2.5-acre stable has been allotted to the unit at Marol, where the horses are being trained by experts from the Army’s horse unit, Mumbai racecourse and riding clubs. The horses are also trained in show-jumping, tent-pegging and polo, apart from their regular drill in traffic and crowd management. The riders will have body-mounted cameras for video recording, police said.
In December 2018, the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Subodh Jaiswal had trotted out the proposal of a mounted police unit to the state government. Similar proposals were made in 1990 and 2009 by the city police. Mumbai Police has not had a mounted unit for the past 88 years.
Explaining the need for horses in the police machinery, the officer said, “There are a lot of areas where vehicles cannot be used for patrolling and at these places, our mounted police unit can be utilised. Mumbai beaches are one such place. They will be of great use in crowd control. We will certainly use their services at any major event in Mumbai where huge crowd is expected.”
Gujarat, Chennai Kolkata and Hyderabad Police already have dedicated mounted units.
In January 2020, Mumbai Police had formally launched its Mounted Police Unit. The unit had been inaugurated by Maharashtra’s erstwhile home minister, Anil Deshmukh. A celebrity Bollywood fashion designer had designed the elegant uniform of the rid