Even as Uttarakhand Police horse Shaktiman recuperates, a batch of 20 of his colleagues are undergoing a gruelling three-month training programme at the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) academy near Chandigarh to learn the skills of mob control.
A contingent of 20 horses and 30 handlers from Uttarakhand Police came from Dehradun in January this year to the National Equine Training School (NETS) at the forces’ Bhanu camp to learn the skills and techniques of crowd control, mob dispersal and patrolling in mountainous terrain. Border guarding force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel are training the animals.
Officials said that police horses like Shaktiman were sent to the academy on the request of the Uttarakhand government to the union home ministry last year.
Horses Akbar, Sultan, Altamas, Naaz, Nawab, Neelam, Angoori, Raka, Mandakini, Diana and Julie among others are around the same age group as 13-year-old ‘Shaktiman’ and are being given special training for effective upkeep of law and order as part of the mounted police unit of the state.
Shaktiman was recently operated upon after he broke his leg during a protest carried out by BJP workers in Dehradun on March 14.
The horses, unlike Shaktiman who was without any body armour, are being trained by providing them partial body cover which is required to keep them safe during protests.
“The recent incident involving Shaktiman is surely at the back of the minds of trainers but every time they train a police horse, their aim is to make him stronger and sturdier than what they are,” an official said.