The 71st Republic Day was a special occasion for the Mumbai Police as it marked the comeback of the mounted police unit after 88 years. The horse-riding unit wearing designer sherwanis by renowned fashion designer Manish Malhotra, participated in the Republic day celebrations held at the iconic Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Following the celebrations, the unit will then patrol the streets of the city.
Earlier this week, state Home Minister Anil Ddeshmukh had told PTI, "Mumbai police has modern jeeps and motorcycles. However, it was felt a mounted unit would be useful for patrolling in crowded areas. For the first time since Independence, Mumbai will have a mounted police unit."
Comprising of 30 horses, a sub-inspector, an assistant sub-inspector, four havaldars and 32 constables, the unit will be trained by professional trainers from Mumbai Racecource, riding clubs along with the Army's horse unit. It is also said that the unit will be trained in show-jumping, tent-pegging and polo. "Thirteen horses have been purchased and the rest will be bought in the next six months. Stables will be built on a 2.5 acre plot at Marol (in suburban Andheri)," Deshmukh said, according to PTI.
Taking to Twitter to welcome the Mumbai Police's mounted unit state environment, tourism and protocol minister Aaditya Thackeray posted: “This, our @MumbaiPolice Horse Mounted unit! I was extremely happy to hear that this was in the making, when I asked about its creation a few months ago.”
The young minister also thanked designer Manish Malhotra for designing the costumes. “Thank you @ManishMalhotra ji for the clothes! You add splendour to their grace!” he posted.
Earlier this week, Mumbai police had tweeted a video of the newest addition to its task force. “Regal in stature, Formidable in form, the “Mounted Police Unit” returns to Mumbai Police. Thank you @ManishMalhotra for designing such an elegant uniform for our Riders. Our Mounted Unit is sure to make a strong impact during law and order situations.”