'Police Commissionerate System' in Indore started during Holkar era

Historian Zafar Ansari, digging into his archives, said that, during Devi Ahilyabai, a Nagar Kotwali was established in the city. The Kotwal of the Kotwali used to be Krishnaji Konddev. He was the only person who imposed fines on people for violating the law and order.

ARSH RAFIK VISAALUpdated: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 11:39 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Even as Indore now boasts a commissionerate system, the police system in the city started during the era of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar.

Historian Zafar Ansari, digging into his archives, said that, during Devi Ahilyabai, a Nagar Kotwali was established in the city. The Kotwal of the Kotwali used to be Krishnaji Konddev. He was the only person who imposed fines on people for violating the law and order.

On October 17, 1872, Tukojirao Holkar-II was declared prime minister of the Holkar dynasty. He revised the police services in the city and divided the police force into three parts, which were the Nagar Police, Jila Police and Girhi Police, said Ansari.

The Nagar Police area was divided among the Thanedars, while the Dehati Police or Jila Police used to work as a watchman in the villages. The Girhi Police used to work in collaboration with the British Police and protected the dak and afeem godowns and chowkis made on several roads.

Ansari said that, on October 5, 1886, the police were separated from the Holkar Army and the city’s law and order was given into the hands of the Nagar Kotwals. At that time, there was one police officer for every 86 people. There were a ttotal of 865 police staff to keep watch over a population of 75,000 people.

Maulvi Imamuddin Khan and Colonel Thakur Prasad were appointed as Indore Nagar police inspectors. Also, an amount of Rs 84 was sanctioned to the police to buy horses which the police used for patrolling, said Ansari.

In Badwali Chowki under the tree, there use to be a police chowki where now a building stands. This chowki used to be the Central Kotwali at that time. All the police activities operated from there, added Ansari.

At the time of the Holkar state, the police used to wear round caps on their heads. Hence, the name police was kept as Aligol Police. In the night, the policemen of this chowki used to patrol 5 to 7 miles in Indore Nagar on their horses. In case of any emergency, a hundred Sikh soldiers used to be deployed for controlling crowds, said Ansari.

Till 1903, the salary of police constables ranged from Rs 5 to Rs 8, which was increased to Rs 8 to Rs 11 rupees in the same year. In 1904, the Council of Regency, Holkar State, appointed CM Segris as the Inspector-General of Police of Indore. A photographer, Ramachandra Rao Pratap Rao, used to take pictures of criminals and dacoits, Ansari added.

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