Hyderabad: A troop of mounted police patrolled the lanes and bylanes of the Old City of Hyderabad on Saturday, to make sure that the lockdown norms are followed strictly, apparently causing curiosity among children who watched the rare sight through half-opened windows of their houses.
“The purpose of the mounted patrol is to evoke a sense of confidence among people and let them know we are with them, come what may. And it was good to see smiles on the faces of children,” Anjani Kumar, Hyderabad police commissioner, who led the mounted patrol, said.
“It is hard in certain pockets of the city to send our patrols in cars and vans. This is where our mounted police units come in handy and we can go around even narrow by-lanes. Every major city in the world, be it New York, London, Paris, or New Delhi, has mounted police units,” Anjani Kumar told this newspaper.
The city police have around 40 horses, of which about 10 to 15 are used for patrolling in a particular shift. Anjani Kumar said mounted patrols were typically carried out in Central, East, and West zones of the city, and in parts of the Rachakonda and Cyberabad police commissionerate areas. We do these three times a day. “The mounted patrols work late nights too but these do not get noticed as much as the ones during the day,” he said.
On how the city police have been working since the announcement of night curfew, followed by the 20-hour-a-day lockdown, Anjani Kumar said they had been toiling from day one to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
City’s top cop is as busy as anyone in the constabulary. “I reach home at around midnight. Every day, I visit one zone in the city and meet about 50-100 officers. Then there are video conferences with the staff, organisation of movement of essential services in the city, meeting with our staff on the field and keeping up their morale, helping doctors and other frontline workers and coordinating with other departments. I also keep a tab on good practices from other cities to follow and implement them in Hyderabad.”
Overall, the lockdown this year is being followed much better than last year, he said.
On lockdown violations, Anjani Kumar said there were bound to be some violations in a 650 sq km city with a population of about one crore, and 12,000 policemen to keep an eye on this vast area and people. “On an average, the police, every day, are booking about 4,000 to 4,500 cases of lockdown and curfew violations. The public need to know that it is a fight against Covid and they have to cooperate to curb its spread,” he added....