The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Congress-ruled Uttarakhand might have faced brickbats over the death of Shaktiman, a 14-year-old horse from Dehradun’s mounted police in April last year, but the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad has kept its memory alive.
The academy, which is currently hosting the 35th All India Police Equestrian Championship and Mounted Police Duty Meet, has chosen to name the event after ‘Shaktiman’, the police horse which was severely injured in an attack by BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi during a protest march at in Dehradun on March 14 last year.
Shaktiman’s condition deteriorated in the following days and its hind left leg had to be amputated on March 17 after a three-hour long operation by leading equine orthopaedic surgeon Dr Phiroze Khambatta and his team. The horse finally succumbed to injuries on April 20.
“It was a big loss to the Mounted Police force. That is why we have decided to dedicate the ongoing All India Equestrial Championship and Mounted Police Duty meet to Shaktiman,” senior IPS officer Rajeev Sabharwal, organising secretary of the championship at the academy, told HT. “We have also named our overall championship shield after Shaktiman, in memory of the deceased horse,” he said. Shaktiman was purchased for Rs 95,000 and inducted in police force on March 18, 2006.
The meet was inaugurated on Monday by Union sports minister Vijay Goel. The event will conclude on January 10.