People across India were horrified last week by footage flashed across television screens of police horse Shaktiman being beaten up. As a result of the beating, one of Shaktiman's legs had to be amputated. The incident that took place in Uttarakhand has now prompted the police in Uttar Pradesh to provide protective gear for horses in the state police force.
According to a report in The Times of India, a committee is being formed to look into the kind of protective gear that is used across the world for horses.
The report quoted director general of police Javeed Ahmed as saying, "There is protective gear for police horses, like leg guards for the fore and hind limbs apart from a visor-fit-des protection to the eyes and nose."
Shaktiman, doctors say, will take more than a month to recover. Uttarakhand DGP BS Sidhu had said earlier that he will be given temporary prosthetic aid in the form of artificial legs which will be tailor made to his specifications. "Army doctors are attending on the horse. We are doing everything we can to help it recover fully from the injuries," Dehradun SSP Sadanand Daate had said earlier in the day.
BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi, who was accused of beating up Shaktiman, was also arrested after much outrage that followed the incident.
While protective gear for police horses comes as a welcome move, there are bigger issues like malnutrition and poor health.
If reports are to be believed, horses that are usually used in riots and mob like situations don't get the care that they need in terms of health and nutrition. However officials say the new manual will take care of this situation as well.
The Asian Age an Uttar Pradesh official as saying, "There is no denying the fact that most of our horses suffer from malnutrition and lack of exercise. Their trainers and keepers do not bother to put them through an exercise regimen which weakens the animal. With the new manual, we are going to strictly ensure that each horse is adequately taken care of and gets a full nutritional meal."