Evolution of ARUNACHAL POLICE

                           

 

 

         

          Having been constituted only in 1972, Arunachal Pradesh Police remains one of the youngest police services of the country. There are several historical factors for this delayed constitution of the force. Being an integral arm of the law & order administration in the state, it had to follow the prevailing norms, which in the shape of customary laws, were very rightly, given a position of preeminence. In fact, the whole philosophy of administration in this area, in the words(957) of our first Prime Minister, was summed up as:

1.   Philosophical

           “We should avoid over administering the area and in particular sending too many outsiders into tribal territory. Various avenues of development have to be pushed within the broad framework of five fundamental principles.

  1. People should develop along the lines of their own genius and we should avoid imposing anything on them, we should try to encourage in every way their own traditional arts and culture.

  2. Tribal rights in lands and forest should be supported.

  3. We should try to train and build up a team of their own people to do the work of administration and development. Some technical personnel from outside will, no doubt, be needed especially in the beginning. But we should avoid introducing too many outsiders in the tribal territory.

  4. We should not over administer these areas or overwhelm them with multiplicity of schemes. We should rather work through and not in rivalry to their own social and cultural institutions.

  5. We should judge results not by statistics or the amount of money spent but by the quality of human character that in involved”.

2.   History

           Prior to the independence of the country, the British had introduced the Assam Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation, 1945, so as to ensure that a vast majority of disputes and cases, both civil and criminal, were adjudicated in accordance with the prevailing traditional codes of the tribal communities. Even though the Indian Penal Code was already in existence to facilitate holding of trials by regular courts whenever it became absolutely necessary, nevertheless, it was well recognized that the conventional legal system was unsuitable for the tribal societies. The regulations recognized the age old authority of village councils, where they existed, also the authority of village headmen and the system of Chieftainship, in so far as they contributed to the continuance of indigenous legal system. According to the Regulation, the ordinary duties of police in respect of crimes were to be  discharged by the village authorities, appointed under section 5 of the Regulation of 1945, who were also entrusted with the task of maintaining peace and order within their jurisdiction. The Regulation, however, stated explicitly that the village authorities would not be deemed to be police officers for purposes of section 25 and section 26 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or the section 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898. These statutory village authorities were different from Kebangs, the traditional village councils. A village authority was empowered to impose a fine not exceeding Rs.50/- for any offence that, they were competent to try. With regard to police duties, the village authorities, besides keeping watch on suspicious characters,  had the power to apprehend any person suspected of having  committed a crime or hand over a person so apprehended to the political officer or an Assistant Political Officer for custody. Provisions were also made for appeals to higher courts of law against the decision of a village authority. Thus, at the basic level of village,  the traditional village authorities were left with complete freedom to regulate the social, cultural and legal affairs of the villages. Above the village level, where indigenous political and legal structure was absent, the gap was sought to be filled by the regular administrative apparatus as prevailed in other parts of the country. However, the society being primarily rural, such instances were extremely rare.

            All the district headquarters of the erstwhile NEFA were established between 1953 and 1955. The sub-division were under Assistant Political Officers I (later designated Assistant Commissioners) and Assistant Political Officers II (later designated Extra Assistant Commissioners); and administrative circles were under Base Superintendents ( later designated Circle Officers). Though a separate Indian Police Service cadre had been constituted for the Union Territories, NEFA became a Union Territory under the changed nomenclature of Arunachal Pradesh only in 1972. The policing of the area prior to that was entrusted to the Assam Rifles which actually served as frontier guards but also had the additional duty of protecting the newly established administrative centers as well as maintaining peace amongst the tribes.

             Those days the Assam Rifles was under the command of a Civil officer- the Inspector General of the Assam Rifles-who was responsible to the governor of Assam, in his capacity as Agent to the Government of India. There was no change either in character or status of the organization till 1959. the situation along the international border after 1959 began to grow hot and tense in view of repeated Chinese intrusions across the border, as a result, the Assam Rifles was placed under the operational control of the Army. Even after the Chinese attack in 1962, the Assam Rifles continued its functions of Civil Police in certain forward areas. It was much later that the CRPF was inducted in a big way for the purposes of policing.

3.   Contemporary

              In view of the growing problems, Govt. of India sanctioned in October 1967 a skeleton staff for the Civil Police set-up. All the posts, however, could not be filled. Some officers were drawn on an adhoc basis from other forces. Small Police Stations were established at 5 DC’s Headquarters and one at Pasihgat (ADC Hqrs). The force functioned under one AIG with no Superintendent of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police, except one DySP who was utilized as DySP (Intelligence) and DySP (Hqrs). In the beginning efforts were made to set up a full fledged Arunachal Pradesh Police by Shri G.C. Singhvi, an IPS officer of Rajasthan cadre (1955), who joined at Shillong in 1969 as the first DIG of Arunachal Pradesh Police. Five more IPS officers in the rank of SP also joined at five district headquarters. Subsequently, all these officers were withdrawn due to practical and administrative difficulties. Later, Shri L.B. Sewa, an IPS officer, originally of Assam-Meghalaya cadre (1958),  and later of Uts, shouldered the responsibility of setting up the Arunachal Pradesh Police in the year 1971. He functioned as AIG with his headquarters at Shillong. It was his pioneering efforts which paved the way and created conditions for establishing the force on a firm footing. He can be truly described as the Architect of Arunachal Police. He was later posted as a DIG in Mizoram where he succumbed to injuries in a militant action in 1974. The present GO’s Mess at Itanagar is named after him, in view of his invaluable contributions. Under his leadership, the sanctioned staff slowly and steadily started taking position in 1972. Some officers were called on deputation from Assam Police. Some ex-army JCOs were also recruited to impart training to the recruit Constables.

               Also, during the same year, the first batch of 30Sis and 18 ASIs were recruited. These officers were trained at the Assam Police Training College, Deregaon. The officers were sent for practical training to Assam/Meghalaya. After training the officers were posted to various districts in Arunachal Pradesh. The year 1973 marked the beginning of the Police Training Centre, Banderdewa under an ex-army Subedar. The first batch of recruits passed out on 8th November, 1974. By this time the Police Act of 1861 had been extended to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, as such, a need was felt to declare the entire area as a General Police Distt., as per the statutory requirements. In the absence of  any regular arrangements Shri I.P. Gupta, the then Chief Secretary, Arunachal also became the ex-officio IGP of the force.

               In March 1976, the Government of India created a post of Inspector General of Police for this Union Territory. Shri K.P. Srivastava of U.P. Cadre assumed office as the first IGP of Arunachal Pradesh in March 1977.  Earlier, the Deputy Secretary, Govt. of India had informed that the question of establishment of Civil Police had been examined in detail and that we should work out the financial implications and furnish EFC Memo. As advised by the MHA, a revised scheme asking for 2955 personnel involving a total financial outlay of Rs. 2,24,00,000 was submitted to Government of India which was further revised to keep the expenditure to the barest minimum. The proposal was therefore reduced to Rs.97,85 lakhs for a strength of 2053 personnel which was ultimately sanctioned. In 1979,  the following categories of police stations were established:

            i.  A Class Police Stations, where DC was the head of other administration.

           ii.  B Class PSs where ADC was the head of administration.

          iii.  C Class PSs-other Administrative Centres.

                In the year 1979,  4 more Police Stations started functioning. Since then there has been speedy process of modernization, development and expansion of the Arunachal Pradesh Police. On 20th February, 1987, Arunachal Pradesh acquired the status of a State and thereafter the force has taken rapid strides. The Arunachal Pradesh Police got the privilege of being headed by Director General of Police on Feb 13, 2002. Sh. Suresh Roy, IPS, 1968 batch of AGMU- Cadre is the first Director General of Police of Arunachal Pradesh Police. The State Police is marching ahead to newer heights under the dynamic leadership of the present Director General of Police. At present there are 2 Ranges, 18 Police districts, 72 Police Stations, 12 Out Posts and 25 Check Gates. Separate armed wing in the shape of the Bns., was created to meet the growing internal security requirements. In 1997  two I.R. Bns.  and in 2008 one more IR Bn were  sanctioned. Now, the total strength of Arunachal Pradesh Police is 9261.

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