The poignant incident involving 'Shaktiman' takes us back to history. Chetak, belonging to Maharana Pratap, Bucephalus who served Alexander the Great, and Rani Laxmi Bai's faithful companion have already made their mark in history.

But with the advancement of technology, the use of this wonderful animal has reached a low point. Earlier, cavalry, i.e. horse mounted soldiers formed crucial part of any army and played decisive role in the outcome of a war.

Nevertheless, many of us may not be aware that about 6.25 lakh horses are serving with several Indian state police forces, which is known as 'Mounted Police'.

The Mounted Police plays a very significant part as it can easily move about in the extensive rural areas where damaged roads and poor transport system otherwise make commuting difficult. Moreover, the height of the horse is a big advantage for crime prevention as it provides high visibility to the police personnel.

Unfortunately, social and governmental apathy has led to a decline in their number which is a major concern not only for the police force but animal lovers as well. According to a government data, in last two decades, the population of horses in India has gone down by 24 percent. In 1992, India had  8.17 lakh horses but by 2012 their number plunged to 6.25 lakh.

The first batch of Mounted Police was established in France during the 18th century. The force is mainly deployed for crowd control and patrolling of parks and uninhabited areas.

By Raju Kumar

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