Mumbai’s mounted police unit has a Manish Malhotra-designed outfit, but opinions are divided

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Noted Indian fashion designer Manish Malhotra made the uniform that many dubbed as an attire only worthy for period dramas.

For upcoming Republic Day celebrations, the Mumbai Police is bringing back its Mounted Police Unit after 88 years. For the occasion, the police roped in noted fashion designer Manish Malhotra to come up with the uniform for the unit. However, after it was unveiled, there were divided opinions on the new outfit.

Thirteen horses have undergone training for the past four months to get used to crowds and noise, so that they can patrol crowded stretches of Mumbai’s beaches and promenades. The new uniform for the police unit features a navy blue sherwani suit that is embellished with intricate silver threadwork and is paired with white pants. The uniform also has a blue peshwa hat.

The Mumbai Police released a video on social media along with the photos of policemen wearing the new uniform. The tweets quickly created a lot of buzz online.

However, not everyone was impressed by the new uniform. There were queries over whether the uniform is just for use on Republic Day or will be their routine uniform. Others said the police force needed more practical uniforms given the temperatures and humidity in the city. Some accused the police of participating in a 'period drama' while others accused them of having a 'colonial hangover'.

Here are some of the reactions to the tweet:

According to Maharashtra's Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the mounted policemen will be effective in patrolling during protests. The first unit will include a police sub-inspector, an assistant sub-inspector, four head constables and 32 riders holding constable rank.

In November 2018, former police commissioner Subodh Jaiswal had submitted a proposal to the state government to incorporate horses in the force for monitoring large public gatherings.