NEW DELHI: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is on a recruitment drive. But it not people that the force is looking for, but horses. According to a top ITBP official, the central armed police force has purchased seven of the two dozen steeds it needs, mainly to supply rations and ammunition to the high-altitude posts along the 3,500 km border with China, which lack motorable roads. “So far, we have purchased 7 horses and more will be bought soon. The step has been taken to clear backlog of purchasing horses for the force,” the official said.
The premier mountain and border protection force has a large animal transport unit comprising horses, mules and ponies. “These horses will be trained at the animal training school in beautiful Lohit valley of Arunachal Pradesh, headed by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) rank official. Later, as per the force requirements, they will be sent to Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh etc. The main job of these horses will be to transport rations and ammunition to the posts which remain cut off for a few month due to bad weather,” he said.
Over the past two years, the ITBP has started giving awards and medals to animals inducted by the force. Thunderstorm and Black Beauty received their awards and even a medal from Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “Every year the force get funds to fill up the vacancies of four legged soldiers. It includes purchases of dogs, horses etc. This year, ITBP got a total budget of `5,521 crores,” the ITBP official added.