The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Officer’s car kills police horse
- Caesar’s Hawk dies in harness after decade of distinguished service

Calcutta Mounted Police lost a much-loved member on Monday when 17-year-old thoroughbred Caesar’s Hawk, trotting along the road near the Maidan as part of his morning drill, was knocked down by a police officer’s private car.

The horse, which served the mounted police for close to a decade, groaned in pain and threw off the constable riding him after the car swerved and rammed into his stomach on Plassey Gate Road around 8.55am.

Caesar’s Hawk collapsed seconds after the accident and died in his stable at 3pm, six hours later. The rider, Sankar Roy, had to be hospitalised but was lucky to escape without a serious injury.

Sources in Lalbazar said the officer on duty at the accident site had first reported to the control room that the aqua-green Santro (WB-06B 7330) was being driven by its owner, deputy commissioner of police (security control officer II) Satya Ranjan Roy.

But the official complaint named driver Sudhangshu Bose as the person at the wheel when the accident occurred. He was arrested but granted bail later in the day.

The DCP claimed that his driver “panicked” when the horse lifted its legs just as he was about to steer the car away from it. A witness said constable Roy had frantically waved for the driver to slam the brakes. “The other horses in the group were in the clear but Caesar’s Hawk didn’t even get a fraction of a second to react.”

A stable hand at SN Banerjee Road, Caesar’s Hawk home since being gifted to the mounted police by the race course authorities in 1999, said he would remember the thoroughbred as an impeccably behaved gelding.

A gelding is a castrated horse, valued for military purposes such as war. Without mating urges, geldings are known to be disciplined and easier to handle in groups.

Horses in the mounted police’s stable have no option but to weave through traffic between October 1 and 15, when the army cleans the Maidan. A mounted police thoroughbred had been knocked down and killed by a minibus in blinding rain on Mayo Road in 2007.

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