Category: Research Paper
Paper Code: RP-AR-09
Page Number: 229-272
Date of Publication: February 10, 2021
Citation: Dr. Anup Kr. Ray, Assam Police and Its Organizational Structure, 1, AIJACLA, 229, 229-272, (2021).
Details Of Author(s):
Dr. Anup Kr. Ray, B.Sc, B.Ed, LLM, PGDHR, Ph. D, Principal, Goalpara Law College
ABSTRACT Police is a state subject under the Constitution of India for safeguarding us. The organizational structure of the Police is important. Assam has its Police system and Law. The Assam Police Act, 2007 governs the police in the state. The organizational structure may be understood by the following points- Establishment, Organizational Structure, Special Wings, Battalion, Armed Forces, Reserved Units and Public Participation, etc. This paper, therefore, focuses on the establishment, development, organization, structure, and functions of the Police department in the State of Assam intending to explore the functionalities and the importance of such a department in achieving the objectives of a welfare state. KEYWORDS Administration; Assam; Law and Order; Organization; and Police
The Assam Police Department functions to enforce and maintain law and order, prevent criminal activities, and contribute to public safety without bias. The Department is committed to integrity, discipline, accountability, and fearlessness. Based on the cornerstone of sincerity, dedication, and compassion Assam Police is mission-driven to uphold the rights, safety, and dignity of citizens whilst abiding by the Constitution. This apart, the Department also works incessantly towards strengthening the police-public bond so participatory democracy can be implemented in the truest sense. The Department follows the mandate of playing an instrumental role in the identification and prevention of crime to safeguard public interests concerning law. The police personnel strive to be professional, personable, service-oriented, and responsive to the imperatives of a crime-free State. Above all, the Department aims at being adaptable to the dynamism of the State’s ever-evolving policing system.
The State of Assam is the lifeline of the entire North East. History says the Mongoloids or Kiratas became the early inhabitants of this region. As such the present-day tribes of North- East are all considered to be the descendants of the Kiratas.
The Northern Himalayan mountain range also covers the North-Eastern portion of India. In the North-Eastern portion as stated in the Vedas, the land was known as the land of Kiratas which was extended from the Himalayan foothills in the North to the Bay of Bengal in the South and the administrative capital was Pragjyotishpura built up by Narakasura, the Kirata king and the area under his control was also known as Kamrupa which became very powerful and prestigious during the reign of King Bhaskaravarman.
The political scenario of Assam got changed in the year 1228 A.D. when Ahom entered into Assam and by the 15th century, Ahom and Koch established their kingdoms. The rule of Ahom extended up to the 18th century and there were changes in all spheres more significant change was observed in land development.
Thereafter, the advent of Burmese in Assam brought radical changes which were also seen and they became the political authority. In a short period, British intervention shifted the political control from the Burmese to the Britishers. During the British period, many development and changes were also observed, the important economic factors were in the field of railways construction, tea plantation being introduced, the discovery of coal and oil in the area. The economy was moving under the control of the Britishers and to protect the administration at this stage the present police system originated in Assam.
At the time of independence in the year 1947, Assam was made a separate State and a part of the union of India. The physical area and administration of the State of Assam in the year 1947 and today has changed a lot as there is a separation of territories and which also separated the Police force. The Arunachal Police was created for the administration of Arunachal Pradesh (NEFA) in the year 1948, Nagaland in the year 1963, Meghalaya in the year 1972, and the Mizoram in the year 1987, The Manipur Police and the police organization of Tripura were different.
The framers of the Constitution of India had considered the different administration systems prevailing in the different states as such the Police was enlisted in the State list. Many of the states upgraded the police system prevailing therein before independence to make a responsible police force. Assam similarly upgraded its Police force, however, the journey to the current status of the police department from that prevailing before independence has been marked with several changes that need proper analysis. This paper will therefore elaborate and explore the development of the Police Department in Assam.
POLICE ADMINISTRATION BEFORE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE
The Assam Police was originated during the British period as before that there was no organized police force. The kingdom of Assam was ruled by different kings like Ahom, Koch, or the earlier and they have their army or some responsible officers for maintenance of peace and protection of the properties of the inhabitants and their life. The Britishers at first were concerned only about economic gain and after taking administrative control set up army outposts at different places which were also expensive. Initially, there was no introduction of revolutionary changes for the organized police force. The expenditure for setting Army outposts for maintaining law and order became an economic problem. This high expenditure had compelled the then newly settled government to take some steps and review the situation and adopted a policy for the reduction of forces gradually. The separate force for civil governance was the need of the time and Mr. Grange, the head of the civil administration of the District of Nowgong formed the first unit of a new organization in the year 1835 which was for raising Cachar Levy to guard new settlements and tea estates which was consisted of Inspectors, Head Constables, and Constables in total 750 officers and other ranks. Similarly, after three years, Jorhat Militia was also formed with an objective. Protecting border from transgressions known to be Shan Militia, the good number of recruits of which belong to Shan community. Thereafter both the Cachar Levy and Shan Militia got merged in 1883 and got the name of Frontier Police thereafter the same in the year 1891 was known as Assam Military Police and in the year 1920, it became to be known as Assam Rifles. Though not fully organized during the reign of Kamaleswar Singha(1796-1811) on the British nodal an armed force was raised to maintain law and order and border defense. The treaty of Yandabu in the year 1826 was the official taking over of Assam by the British and there is no evidence of regular police before that. The huge number of forces in Assam was reduced to only four regiments by the year 1839-40.
The British after 1862 deployed regular troops in several parts of Assam consist of one Darogah, one Jamadar, and constables which were maintained at the District Headquarters, and the duty was cast upon them to guard the eastern frontier of Assam from the Brahmaputra river to Cachar. The forces were semi-military. The payment was poor which disinterested the local youth as such the recruits were from Bengal. The problem of force from outside was observed by the government and to Assamese youth in October 1843 the salary of Darogah raised from Rs. 25 to Rs. 100 similar raise was in other ranks too. The rise in salary started attracting the Assamese youth to join the police force. In the year 1862, the Police Act of 1861 was introduced and the Criminal Procedure Code has been started operating. Following the Police Act of 1861 Police districts were created in Assam. They were
(i) Cacher ;
(iii) Garo Hills ;
(vi) Khasi and Jantia Hills;
(ix) Naga Hills;
(x) Sibsagar; and
The control and supervision of the police department were under the central administration and till 1874 Assam was the administrative part of the British ruled Bengal province by an agent of the Governor-General. The civil servant Mr. Chichele Plowden was the first Inspector General of Police, who runs his administration from the provincial capital Shillong.
The Police was divided into four branches.
(i) Civil Police, entrusted with the general duties of police in the districts like maintenance of law and order and prevention of crimes and other miscellaneous duties.
(ii) Frontier Police, responsible for the protection of the border, a quasi-military force
(iii) Municipal Police, formed for maintaining law and order in towns it was later on amalgamated with the civil police in 1882
(iv) Rural Police, responsible for the law and order in the villages, the principal police force in the province was the city police with the strength in the year 1874, at the time of constituting Assam as a chief commissioner’s province was 3,352.
In the year 1878, the Government of India for re-organization of the police force took a decision on 5th March 1878 and the force was classified into two categories ;
(1) the Civil Police for the discharge of ordinary Civil functions; and
(2) the Frontier or armed Police for the quasi-military work.
In the year 1891, the Frontier Police was renamed as Armed police which was created for the defense of the frontiers, although it was also used to assist the civil police. The rural and the Municipal police though occupied an insignificant position, but according to the decision of the Government of India, the police force in Assam was the civil and the Frontier Police. The existing Municipal Police at Goalpara, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, and Silchar were amalgamated with the ordinary Civil Police from the 1st April of the year1881. The Municipal Police of Sylhet and Shillong, remain the same.
In the year 1880, a new police force called Punitive Police in addition to the other two was formed under the Police Act of 1861 utilized and deployed in Sylhet and Goalpara for handling recurrence of disturbance there, subsequently it was also deployed in Khasi Hills. The object of punitive police was to reduce expenditure as it realized the cost of its maintenance from the erring inhabitance.
The Railway Police force was created Five years later in April 1885 comprising one Head Constable and 4 constables with the purpose to assist the Railway survey party.
In the year 1882, the Assam Police Frontier regulation was framed which stated the terms and conditions of service in the Assam Frontier police and also for the maintenance of proper discipline in the force. In 1833, the Frontier Police was re-organized and it gave a distinct military role as to the safeguard of the entire Frontier line was placed upon it. This police force was organized into four different crops and posted in Cachar, Garo Hills, Lakhimpur, and Naga Hills. Excepting these four districts, the security of jail and treasuries were upon the Civil Police. There was a good rise in the number of police stations by the end of the century. In the year 1874 it was almost a non-existent police administration by the end of the century 94 police stations evolved covering an area of 294 square miles while in Sylhet 29 number police stations, Goalpara 19 police stations, and districts like Darrang, Lakhipur Nagaon, and Sibsagar had only 7 police stations each, this reflected the two districts needed more attention.
In the year 1912, the new province of Assam came into existence, a new battalion for the North East was sanctioned and a new reorganization of the military police into four uniformed Battalions was drawn up having equal strength and was submitted to the Government. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was established in the year 1913 for intelligence and extremist activities wherein the A.E.H.Shettleworth was the first to occupy the position of Special Superintendent of Police. In Shillong, a Finger Print Bureau had also been established. The workload had increased and required greater care and attention for which in 1935 the post of Deputy General of Police ( CID ) was formed. The first DIG was Mr. R.R. Cunning. After the creation of Meghalaya in the year 1972 as a separate State, the Headquarter of CID was shifted from Shillong to Guwahati in the year 1974. Before independence additional duties were imposed on the police as the war was in progress. Despite main tasks, the police had to take control of the foreigners, encounter espionage and anti-sabotage activities during 1940. Internal security was also in danger, underground activities became troublesome, as such during 1941 temporary forces were employed in the gazetted and non-gazetted ranks of the police service.
The period during 1942 was troublesome as the Japanese armed forces were marching and were unstoppable. The position of Burma was also dangerous. The State of Assam started facing the problem of the inflow of increased refugees and the police were suddenly directed to manage a good number of motor vehicles for the transport of commodities, laborers, etc. to Manipur and Dimapur as the tension grew in the border. It was observed that the police force was not adequate to meet up the crisis and for that various measures were taken for increasing the number of forces so that the railways, aerodromes are protected and other security duties are being performed.
These measures helped to increase the strength of the force to one half of the total strength. During 1942-43 the problem of refugees decreased but the infiltration grew up and to protect the state from the infiltration extra force was required. The Assam police was seriously called upon to solve the internal security problem that arose during the invasion of the Japanese force. The Assam Police also helped in intelligence. The Japanese forces targeted the Naga Hills and the Manipur and the Assam police with its intelligence and competent officials protected the important places. The time of the Police force was utilized for the help of armies and allies both Americans and Chinese. By the end of 1944, there was an additional temporary sanction of 5113. As the workload increased it also increased the cost of the department although a great portion of the cost was given by the Central government for assistance to the central defense forces. The period is also important as the power of administration shifted from the British to independent India. The Assam Police has to face a change in its administration as the Sylhet District transferred to Pakistan on the other hand the administration of Assam rifles was out of the control of the Assam Police. The strength of force suddenly saw a decrease as the officer of British origin left the service, a group of persons opted to join Pakistan as they belong to Sylhet.
POLICE ADMINISTRATION IN ASSAM AFTER BRITISH RULE
In 1929 the Assam Civil Police Committee was constituted, the Chairman Sir Syed Mohammad Saadullah and the committee made a detailed study and also got opinions of various people and came to certain observations which are as follows :
(i) there is a gap between the police and the public as the police abused the power and it made the police unpopular;
(ii) the inefficiency and corruption should be changed by recruitment of educated youth; the salary structure should also be made attractive;
(iii) The training process was not of the mark and there should be one-year training in a well-staffed training school;
(iv) the subordinate ranks up to the extent of fifty percent should be occupied by departmental examination; and.
(v) the uniform should be made smart and tidy by replacing the traditional red turban with a hat.
The recommendations of the committee were considerable and some of them were also applied like salary structure, departmental examination, and dress but there is no improvement in the quality. There are also some neglected part of forces like the River police and Rural police and the deficiency remain existed in the forces. In the year 1950-51 with the help of the Army and the Assam Rifles the anti-terrorist operations were carried out which revealed that further measures are required to be taken to remove the deficiencies. In the year 1952, the Government also set up a police Reorganization Committee but the inadequacy of funds restricted the implementation of the recommendations. A good number of police stations, outposts, and new buildings were constructed and there was also an increase in the number of armed and unarmed police personnel. During this period the Wireless and Fire Service organizations were also recognized. The new high post like Dy. I.G. Range, Dy. I.G. Armed Forces and Training and Dy. I.G. Administration was created.
In the year 1956 and subsequently the Naga Hills was disturbed by the activities of A.Z. Phizo, who claimed independence of Nagas. The situation demanded more troops as such the large platoons of A.P. Batallion were made to cope with the situation. These gave a good result and in the year 1958 after the separation of Naga Hills District the Assam Police withdrawn its forces but the border outposts remained occupied by Assam Police.
The police force before independence was concerned only with the British colonial system and loyal to the British Government and after independence it has changed and responsibility imposed over the police force towards the laws enforceable after independence, the state and the union of India, and above all to the Constitution of India.
After the independence radical changes occur in the police administration and the British system did not makeup with the independent India. In the year 1947, the police administration consisted of the Inspector General at the top, and there were two Dy. Inspector General one for the CID created in the year 1935 and the other for the Administration created in the year 1945. The Sylhet district which was part of Assam from 1874 got transferred to Pakisthan as such the employees who were the inhabitants of Sylhet preferred to be in Pakistan for the scope of transfer impacts hometown. These lead to a change in the scenario.
The two great impacts he independence on the Assam Police were:
(a) The British Officers left the state making a vacuum in the high administration as experienced and qualified officers were absent; and
(b) The Assam Rifles got separated from the Assam Police, a joint was separated under different administration for the want of efficiency.
The other effect of the turmoil was that the independence kept the police busy and there was no proper training which led to various complex problems. The problem of inefficiency both in the trainer and the trainee was a backlog for police administration during that period. The Assam Police was able to manage its reputation and after a period resumed its strength. At the time of independence, the strength of the police force in Assam was around 8000 which was just 3352 in the year 1874 when Assam was separated from Bengal which is not a remarkable success. The rules regulations and discipline set by Britishers became the foundation and led to growth step by step. Various new branches were also formed for smooth running of the police force like Assam Police Border Organization, Assam Police Radio Organization, Assam River Police Organization, All Women Police Station, Bureau of Investigation (Economic Offences) Special Branch, Criminal Investigation Department, State Fire Service Organization and Establishment of Forensic Science Laboratory.
The strength of the force had increased enormously especially in the last consecutive decades. The figures say in the year it was 40290 and by the end of the 20th century it reached the figure of 61236. The present Assam Police which has its long journey of more than a century is now well-disciplined organized with a history of regular service more effective at the time of crisis. At present, the Assam police are as good as any other police force in India.
The circumstances are changing and the situation demands a police force of the welfare state to serve the interests of the people not the oppressiveness of the earlier system. As a result as per direction from the Honourable Supreme Court of India, the State Government of Assam in the year 2007 enacted the Assam Police Act, 2007 with 10 chapters and 117 sections for the police of Assam.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN ASSAM
Assam Police comes under the direct control of the Department of Home Affairs, Government of Assam. The Home Department of the Govt. of Assam consists of the following branches:
Home (A) Department
There are two Directorates under the Home (A) Department:
I. Office of the Director-General of Police, Assam
II. Office of the Director of Forensic Science Laboratory, Assam
Home (B) Department
There are three Directorates under the Home (B) Department:
1. Office of the Director-General of Civil Defense and Commandant General of Home Guards
2. Office of the Inspector General of Prisons
3. Office of the Director of Fire Service Organizations
Home (C) Department
There are 2 Directorates under the Home (C) Department
1. Director of Prosecution
2. Assam Police Housing Corporation Limited
Assam Police has been divided into 6 ranges and 27 districts. 2 ranges are under an Inspector General of Police and rest are headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police and each district is under a Superintendent of Police. There are 14 nos. Assam Police Battalions, 4 nos. Assam Police Task Force Battalions, 8(eight) Assam Police (India Reserve) Battalions, 1(one) ONGC Battalion, 1 Commando Battalion, and 4 nos. of Training Centers in the State. There are three Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism(CIAT) Schools.
Assam state police power additionally keeps up its own Reserve Armed police power (uncommon equipped police and furnished police) which is liable for crises and group control issues. They are commonly initiated uniquely on requests from the Rank of DIG and more elevated level specialists. The outfitted constabulary don't for the most part come into contact with the overall population except if they are doled out to VIP obligation, Insurgency activity, Riot control or to keep up lawfulness during fairs, celebrations, athletic occasions, races, and cataclysmic events. They may likewise be shipped off to suppress flare-ups of understudy or work turmoil, coordinated wrongdoing, and shared uproars; to maintain law and order. Contingent upon the kind of task, the Armed Police power may convey just lathis or deadly weapons.
BRANCHES OF ASSAM POLICE
With the development and improvement of the police organization in the post-colonial time, various new branches were set up to satisfy the expanding needs of lawfulness and the peculiar situations that started emerging in the state, like, the huge scope invasion of the foreign nationals from over the outskirt causing a genuine unevenness in the segment structure of the state and compromising public security
The following are the Branches of Assam Police:
· Assam Police Radio Organisation (APRO)
· The Bureau of Investigation (EO)
· Police Commissionerate
· Special Task Force
· Criminal Investigation Department
· Railway Police
· Village Defence Organization
· Special Branch
· Assam Police Housing Corporation Ltd.
· CM’s Special Vigilance Cell
· River Police
· Training Institutes
· Mounted Police
Assam Police Radio Organisation (APRO)
It is a very important but low-profile wing within the Assam Police organization. The organization keeps all the wings of Assam Police in communication with each other through a wireless network.
Initially set up as Assam Police Wireless Communication on 12th March 1946 with 9 HF stations and headquarter in Shillong, Assam Police Radio Organization (APRO) supports the law and order enforcing agencies by providing reliable, secure voice and data communication for assisting the police in effective prevention and detection of crimes and criminals. It also provides communication anywhere in the state in matters of public safety, law and order, and disaster management. The headquarter of the organization was shifted from Shillong to Guwahati in 1972 after the creation of the Meghalaya state.
The APRO is headed by Additional DGP (Communication). Each of the district and battalion level headquarters of the APRO is headed by an Inspector rank officer. Each of the district headquarter comprises various branches including Message Communication Centre, Cipher Cell, Radio Workshop, PLANET & CCTN Webmail, Fitter Workshop, District VHF (R/T) Control.
Wireless Stations are installed in all the PSs, Ops, BOPs, and important PPs to provide wireless communication services. Repeater Stations are also installed at 14 hilltop locations throughout the State for long-distance R/T and data communication. These stations were locally designed by APRO technicians.
There are six Range Headquarters headed by an officer in the rank of Additional SP (Communication) or Dy SP (Communication). The Range Headquarters are based in Kokrajhar, Guwahati, Tezpur, Silchar, Diphu, and Jorhat.
One state Message Control Centre (MCC) is located in Dispur headed by one SP (Communication) who performs an important role in controlling and providing the huge volume of WT messages of Police as well as Civil departments among the districts and Battalions with State headquarter.
The APRO training school was established in Shillong in 1948. It has now been functioning from its permanent campus at Jalukbari in Guwahati since 1975. The institution is headed by an SP (Communication) rank officer. It provides training to newly-recruited Constables, ASIs, and SIs and trainees from different State Police Communication Wing of India. Training on Police Radio Communication courses in various grades and trades is imparted as per Syllabus Committee Report-1995 issued by Directorate of Coordination Police Wireless (DCPW), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India for Police Wireless Institutions all over India.
Internship/Vocational Programme for students pursuing M.SC/BE/B.Tech courses in Electronics and Communication Engineering are conducted regularly at APRO training school.
The APRO training school has been empaneled as a Training Partner (TP) of the Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM). It is, therefore, entrusted to conduct technical skill training courses as a Model Training Centre of Electronics Sector Skill Council of India (ESSCI) in Guwahati in service of youths of Assam. The Centre imparted skill training courses in CCTV installation, field technician – computing & peripherals, field technician –other home appliances, field technician –UPS inverter, mobile phone hardware repair technician, refrigerator and AC technician, and domestic data entry operator.
The Bureau of Investigation (EO)
BIEO CM’s Vigilance Cell
The Bureau of Investigation (Economic Offences) of the Assam Police, commonly referred to as BIEO, was established in November 1975 with the sole objective of taking steps to prevent various economic offenses.
Though headed by a senior Assam Police officer of the rank of an Additional DGP, officers of the Bureau are also drawn from other departments like taxation, excise, transport, and forest.
The Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell, Assam, on the other hand, was created in 1984. Its sole objective is to conduct inquiry and investigation into certain special and sensitive offenses committed by State Government officials under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 (Amended in 1988), offenses under Sections 406 to 409 IPC, 417 to 420 IPC, 417 to 477(A) IPC and also under Official Secrets Act, 1923, only when referred to by the Chief Minister of Assam.
While the Chief Minister of Assam is the functional head of this cell, the DGP is its administrative head. Headed by a Superintendent of Police, the Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell has its jurisdiction throughout the State of Assam. The office of the SP, Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell, Assam, was declared as a Police Station (Special Vigilance Police Station, Assam) by the Government of Assam in February 1984. Rules define that officers of the Cell will function under orders of the Chief Minister, Assam, but remain under the administrative control of the Director-General of Police, Assam.
Vigilance and Anti-Corruption branch
Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the State headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police came into existence in the year 1946 under the overall control and supervision of D I G, CID, Assam. One post of the S.P. Anti-Corruption branch was created in the year 1959. Consequent upon the recommendations of the “Santhanam Committee” a post of Vigilance Commissioner was created by the State Government in 1964.
During this period, the Anti-Corruption branch, which used to be under the control of the Dy. I.G., CID was placed under the Vigilance Commissioner. The post of the State Vigilance Commissioner was held by retired Judges of the High Court till 1981. ACB was declared a Police Station in the year 1975.
A Separate Directorate of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption was established in 1983 which was headed by an I.G.P. Rank officer. As per government notification issued in June 1991, officers under the Director-General of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption, Assam, not below the rank of Inspector of Police were authorized to investigate an offense punishable under the Prevention of Corruption, Act, 1988.
The origin of the Assam Police Battalion (APB) can be traced back to the Second World War. As the Japanese forces conquered Burma (present-day Myanmar) in May 1942 and began advancing towards India’s eastern border, the Allied Forces geared up to resist them. This necessitated building up strong bases in Manipur and the Naga Hills (the latter then a district of Assam), leading to a massive movement of troops from different countries through mainland India.
It was in this backdrop that the then British government created the Assam Rail Force (ARF) in 1942. This Rail Force was actively involved in the Second World War as an auxiliary force of the Allied Army, and many of its men were directly engaged in fighting the invading Japanese troops. Several Rail Force personnel were thus sent for training with the Maratha Light Infantry, which was part of the Allied Army, so that, in addition to guarding and ensuring smooth passage of trains transporting the troops, these men could also take on the Japanese whenever the need arose.
After the Second World War came to an end, and after India attained Independence, the new government converted the Rail Force into what was named the Assam Police Battalion. While the decision to convert it into its new avatar was taken in April 1948, the Assam Police Battalion came into existence on July 15, 1948. The first Commandant of this first police force created in Assam after Independence was a British Indian Police officer called HFG Burbidge.
The newly-created Assam Police Battalion was first located at Kopahtoli in Dergaon, where the Allied Forces had set up an airfield during the Second World War. It had as many as 1545 personnel on its rolls, among whom 1437 were constables and officers, the remainder being clerical and office staff. The Battalion’s uniform was initially olive green, which was later replaced by khaki. In 1952, the government created a second Assam Police Battalion, which too was located at Dergaon, following which the pioneer Battalion was renamed as 1st Assam Police Battalion. In 1983, the 1st Assam Police Battalion was shifted to its present location at Ligiripukhuri near Nazira.
Being a successor to the Rail Force which had taken an active role in the Second World War, the 1st Assam Police Battalion is today in proud possession of several items that were used in the historic battles that took place between the invading Japanese and defending Allied forces. These prized possessions include one Thomson Sub-Machine Gun with a drum magazine and a long-and-short magazine, which bears the manufacturing mark of Auto-Ordnance Corporation, New York, and was used by the Allied Army. There are also two Japanese weapons, one of which is a sniper rifle, the other a regular rifle, both having imprints in the Japanese language. Several kukris used by the Allied troops are also preserved in the 1st Assam Police Battalion at Ligiripukhuri.
Among other antique items that are preserved in the 1st Assam Police Battalion is a running silver trophy for a shooting competition instituted way back in 1892, which was manufactured by Elkington & Co, Birmingham. The trophy was won by several British officers until it came into the possession of some unnamed officer of this Battalion. It also has in its display another Silver trophy, the Assam Police Battalion Football Trophy, which was presented by HFG Burbidge, the first Commandant, in 1948.
The Assam Police, as of January 1, 2019, has 28 reserved battalions under different categories. They include 14 Assam Police Battalions, four Assam Police Task Force Battalions, eight India Reserve Battalions, and one Commando Battalion.
The battalion personnel is engaged in the onerous task of helping the district police in maintaining law and order, besides guarding various vital installations round the clock. They are also engaged in other static security duties. The various Battalions have shown their worth in operations against various insurgent groups and in maintaining the line of communications, giving general security to the people.
Most of the Battalions also have platoons manning the inter-state Border Out Posts (BOP) at various far-flung remote locations.
Each battalion location in the state is a small township by itself with complete barracks, various training facilities, family quarters, health centers, sports grounds. Most of the units also have consumer co-operative societies and family welfare centers for the benefit of families of jawans.
1st APBn is located at Ligiripukhuri in Sivasagar district. It was raised on 15th July 1948. Personnel of this battalion are also engaged in manning 11 Border Out Posts (BOPs).
2nd APBn is located at Makum in Tinsukia district. It was raised on 15th July 1952. Personnel of this battalion are engaged in law and order duties besides manning four BOPs.
This battalion of Assam Police is a spin-off of colonial-era Assam Rail Force (ARF) which was raised in 1942 during World War II for protection of the railway track in eastern Assam in the wake of the Japanese Army making a rapid advance towards Burma.
The ARF continued to function even after Independence. The ARF was designated as a provincial Armed Police Battalion in 1948.
The Provincial Armed Police Battalion was split on 1st August 1952 into two battalions for administrative convenience – Ist APBn and 2nd APB. The unit headquarter was initially at Dergaon. So, since the raising the headquarter of the 2nd APBn was in Dergaon. The headquarter was shifted to Makum on 10th July 1975. The battalion headquarter is located on a plot of over 160 bighas of land.
Forty-five women police constables are now part and parcel of this historic battalion. Most of these women members of the battalion are posted in various districts and organizations while a few are engaged in the battalion headquarter.
The third APBn is situated at Titabor in Jorhat area. It was brought up on 25th January, 1956. This Battalion was raised as the third Bn. B.S.F. at Dergaon with the first APBn, and hence moved to Salonibari close to Tezpur in 1959. It was again moved to Dergaon in the year 1960 and redesignated as third APBn viable from first April 1961. It moved out of Dergaon to its present settle at Titabor on fourteenth August, 1969. The workforce of this regiment is occupied with Law and Order obligations other than monitoring six Border Outposts (BOPs).
4th APBn is located at Kahilipara in Guwahati in the district of Kamrup Metropolitan. It was raised on 16th June 1962. Personnel of this battalion are engaged in law and order duties besides manning 4 BOPs.
5th APBn is located at Sontilla in NC Hills (Dima Hasao) district. It was raised on 16th March, 1964. Personnel of this battalion are mostly engaged in law and order duties.
6th APBn is located at Kathal in Cachar district. It was raised on 2nd February 1965. The personnel of this battalion are engaged in law and order duties besides manning six BOPs.
7th APBn is located at Charaikhola in Kokrajhar district. It was raised on 22nd August 1986. The personnel of this battalion are mostly engaged in law and order duties. The original 7th AP Battalion, however, was located in Shillong and was left back there when the state of Meghalaya was created in May 1972 to be rechristened as the 1st Meghalaya Police Battalion.
eighth APBn is situated at Abhayapuri in the Bongaigaon region. It was raised on 26th June, 1966. Its workforce is generally occupied with the guarding of fundamental establishments and the upkeep of peace in regions.
The ninth APBn is situated at Berhampur in the Nagaon region. It was raised on fourteenth September 1970. The faculty of this regiment are occupied with monitoring six BOPs, significant railroad spans, other security, and lawfulness obligations.
The tenth APBn is situated at Kahilipara, Guwahati in the Kamrup Metropolitan area. It was raised on 23rd October 1973. The workforce of this legion is occupied with significant security obligations.
eleventh APBn is situated at Dergaon in Golaghat locale. It was raised on 29th November 1978. The staff of this brigade are occupied with significant security and lawfulness obligations other than monitoring seven BOPs.
twelfth APBn is situated at Jamagurihat in the Sonitpur region. It was raised on fourteenth January 1980. The staff of this legion are occupied with monitoring two BOPs, guarding indispensable establishments, and other lawfulness obligations.
thirteenth APBn is situated at Lilabari in Lakhimpur locale. It was raised on sixth June 1987. The workforce of this Battalion is occupied with peace obligations other than monitoring four BOPs.
fourteenth APBn is situated at Daulasal in the Nalbari region. It was raised on sixth June 1987. The faculty of this unit are occupied with lawfulness obligations other than guarding indispensable establishments.
Assam Police Task Force
First Assam Police Task Force Battalion, Dakurvita: The first APTF Bn was raised on the second of January 1984.
Second Assam Police Task Force Battalion, Lumding: The second APTF Bn was raised on twelfth March 1984.
India Reserve Battalion (IRBn) The expanding issue of peace and arising inside a situation in the nation have throughout the long term squeezed Central Para Military Forces. Since raising of CPMF just to meet practically standard and expanding request of the States was troublesome and put loads of strain on the organization of such units of CPMF, the Government of India in 1993 chose to enlarge the qualities of the State Governments. It is in this setting that two India Reserve Battalions were brought up in Assam with the help of the Central Government in 1994.
Even though under the regulatory control of the Assam Police, the Central Government anyway maintains the primary authority to approach these Battalions as and when needed for organizations outside the state. The staff of the IR Battalions are occupied with both operational just as lawfulness obligations.
The IRBn personnel are trained thoroughly in counter-insurgency and law and order situations. Such training programs are conducted at the respective unit Headquarters. There are altogether eight IR Battalions in Assam.
The first IR Battalion in Assam – called the 15th Assam Police (IR) Battalion – was originally raised in 1994 at Jamugurihat under the 12th Assam Police Battalion. In 2000, it was temporarily shifted to the old Police Reserve at Junitilla in Karimganj, following which it was provided a permanent campus at Eraligool, close to the India-Bangladesh border in Karimganj in 2001. Apart from its various platoons being deployed in different districts, fifty personnel of this Battalion are also posted at the second line of defense along the India-Bangladesh border in Karimganj.
The following are the other seven India Reserve Battalions with their year of raising and location:
16th AP(IR) Bn, located at Barmonipur in Morigaon district, was raised in 1994.
19th AP(IR) Bn, located at Tengakhat in Dibrugarh district, was raised in 2001.
20th AP (IR) Bn, located at Panbari in Dhubri district, was raised in 2001.
21st AP(IR) Bn, located at Katlicherra in Hailakandi district, was raised in 2006.
22nd AP(IR) Bn, located at Likabali in Dhemaji district, was raised in 2006.
23rd AP(IR) Bn, located at Siloni in Karbi Anglong district, was raised in 2008.
24th AP(IR) Bn, located at Charaimari in Baksa district, was raised in 2009.
Assam Tea Plantation Security Force Assam has over 700 tea gardens owned by different companies including MNCs. These apart, the state also has several thousand homestead tea estates popularly known as Small Tea Growers. Way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when different armed extremist groups began targeting the tea industry, especially the big tea estates, to extort money, the Government of Assam was prompted to raise a special force to provide security to the industry that was a backbone of the state’s economy. Accordingly, the Government of Assam and the Indian Tea Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding giving birth to the Assam Tea Plantation Security Force (APTSF). Three primary objectives of raising the ATPSF were - (i) Providing security to key Tea Garden personnel, (ii) Escorting cash of Tea Gardens, and (iii) Guarding various installations of the tea gardens. The Force, it was stated, was exclusively raised for the security of the tea gardens against threats from the extremist elements and it was not to be used by the management of the tea companies for any private purpose.
Recruitment of personnel to the APTSF was made by a Central Recruitment Body set up by the Government of Assam in which a representative of the Indian Tea Association was co-opted. The operational control of the APTSF was vested in the Director-General of Police who was empowered to delegate his powers to the jurisdictional District Superintendents of Police. The training, administration, and discipline of the APTSF on the other hand were vested with the Director-General, Civil Defence, and Commandant General of the Home Guards, Government of Assam, who in turn was empowered to delegate powers to the respective District Commandant of the Home Guards.
Though JCOs/NCOs, who were in immediate charge of the sections of the ATPSF at the individual garden level, were to take orders from the Garden management in respect of routine functions, the standard operating procedure made it clear that no disciplinary powers over any member of the APTSF was vested in the garden management. Concomitant with the duties entrusted, the members of the APTSF were to carry out their duties with arms including sophisticated ones. The cost incurred in raising and maintaining the APTFS was, however, borne by the Indian Tea Association.
With the government taking an effective multipronged approach and security forces making an all-out effort under the Unified Command Structure, the overall law and order scenario showed marked improvement, and militancy began to gradually fade away. With most of the militant groups including the larger section of leaders of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) coming forward to take part in peaceful negotiations, the Assam Tea Plantation Security Force was finally disbanded in 2007. But, recognizing the contribution of the ATPSF, the Government of Assam created a new force called Assam Industrial Security Force (AISF), its mandate being providing security requirements of not just the tea companies, but also to various state and central sector public sector undertakings operating in the state. Thus, a sizeable section of the disbanded APTSF personnel was absorbed in the AISF which was created in 2008.
Assam Industrial Security Force
With the Assam Tea Plantation Security Force proving to be a success, the Government of Assam in 2008 decided to wind up the ATPSF and raise a new force with a wider scope of responsibility. Thus, two battalions of the new force – Assam Industrial Security Force – were raised in 2008-09 for providing security to various industrial undertakings including the oil and gas installations of ONGC, in addition to tea, with a combined strength of 2564 persons.
Assam has a large number of installations belonging to central sector PSUs like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGCL), Oil India Limited (OIL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), etc. These apart, there are several state PSUs like Assam Gas Company, Assam Petrochemicals Ltd, Assam Tea Corporation, etc., which have a lot of security requirements. While the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is already in deployment in most of the central sector PSUs, the objective behind the creation of the Assam Industrial Security Force is to supplement the gaps in the central sector PSUs, besides, to provide security to the PSUs that belong to the state government.
Like the now-defunct APTSF, deployment of the AISF comes at a cost for the industrial houses and tea companies. The companies have to pay to utilize the services of the AISF that operates under the Director-General of Civil Defence and Home Guards, a wing of the Assam Police.
The Assam Police Border Organisation was originally established in 1962 under the Prevention of Infiltration of Pakistanis (PIP) Scheme. It was then a part of the Special Branch, which in turn was headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police. The PIP scheme for which the Border Organisation was created in 1962 was intended at establishing a security screen to exercise physical check and control over the number, identity, and movement of existing inhabitants in the immigrant settlements near the international border with then East Pakistan, thus making it impossible for any new entrant to go untraced or unnoticed. Under this scheme, an outpost was established over an area of 7 to 10 sq km, each having one Sub-Inspector and two unarmed Constables. Initially, 52 such outposts were established in 1962. In 1964 however, the number of outposts was increased to 180 with an Assistant Inspector General of Police heading the whole Border wing.
In 1974, it was separated from Special Branch and converted into a full-fledged Assam Police wing headed by a DIG (Border). Meanwhile, after the liberation of Bangladesh, the PIP Scheme was renamed as Prevention of Infiltration of Foreigners (PIC) Scheme. The head of the Border Organisation was elevated to the rank of an IGP in 1985, and subsequently to that of an Additional Director General of Police in 1997.
The deployment of police personnel under the Assam Police Border Organisation on the other hand is done to cover a wide range of areas. Assam Police Border personnel are posted in all districts of the state for detection and deportation of illegal foreigners and to prevent them from entering Assam from across the international border with Bangladesh.
In March 1999, the Assam Police Border Organisation has entrusted the task of establishing several second lines of defense Border Outposts behind those of the BSF along the India-Bangladesh border to provide additional vigil and trace infiltrators who might have sneaked in despite the existing mechanism. Accordingly, several BOPs were set up, which has strengthened the mechanism to prevent any kind of trans border movement. The Assam Police Border Organisation also maintains several Patrol Posts in Dhubri, South Salmara, and Karimganj, the districts that share international boundaries with Bangladesh. Also, Assam Police Border Organisation personnel conduct joint border patrolling with BSF personnel regularly. It also has several Watch Posts in various infiltration-prone areas of 20 districts.
The Assam Police Border Organisation also maintains six Immigration Check Posts (ICP) in Dhubri and Karimganj – two districts sharing international boundary with Bangladesh – to check passenger traffic into Assam with valid documents.
Assam shares about 245 km of international boundary with Bangladesh and 280 km with Bhutan. The state also shares about 2743 km inter-state boundary with seven states - Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, and West Bengal. Assam Police Border Organisation has several Border Outposts (BOPs) along these inter-state boundaries. The primary task of these BOPs is to prevent encroachment by the neighboring states, apart from protecting the lives and property of the people of Assam residing along with inter-state boundary areas.
There is also a Border Intelligence Team in each district that collects various intelligence inputs from the field for onward dispatch. The operational control of the Border Police in each district is vested with the Superintendents of Police of the respective district.
It was on January 1, 2015, that Guwahati joined the league of big cities of the country, with the government notifying the creation of the Police Commissionerate, Guwahati. Jyotirmoy Chakravarty became the first Police Commissioner of Guwahati. The Police Commissionerate of Guwahati has divided the city into three police districts, namely the West Police District, the East Police District, and the Central Police District, each headed by an officer of the rank of a Superintendent of Police, known as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP). Also, the Police Commissionerate has a Crime Branch and a Traffic Branch, each headed by a DCP. The Police Commissionerate has, under its jurisdiction, as many as 20 Police Stations, each headed by an Officer-in-Charge of the rank of an Inspector. 20 Police Outposts are operating under the Commissionerate.
The Traffic Branch of the Guwahati Police Commissionerate on the other hand has divided Guwahati city into four Traffic Divisions, these being Dispur, Panbazar, Chandmari, and Pandu, each headed by an Inspector.
The Guwahati Police Commissionerate has taken several special measures to make the city particularly safe for women and children. While efforts have been put in to make the police stations citizens-friendly as well as friendly for women, its website has a list of NGOs working for women and children, and another of shelter homes for mentally ill persons, apart from information on Child Welfare Committee, and Children/Women Shelter Homes in the city. The website also has a detailed advisory for citizens, covering basic tips on prevention and reporting of burglary, drug and substance abuse, and safe electronic transaction. It also has full texts of the four major Acts, these being Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012, The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013, The Assam Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act of 2010, and The Assam Protection of Interests of Investors (in Financial Establishments) (Amendment) Act of 2013 for the benefit of people.
Efforts are on over the years to make Guwahati Police people-friendly. Significant among these has been the launching of Nagarik (Citizens) Committees in July 1996 by the then Superintendent of Police to allow participatory policing in different police stations in the city. The primary role of such Citizens Committees has been to make citizens an important stakeholder in crime prevention and law enforcement during mega festivals and other law and order issues as well as traffic management. The success of this experiment led to the expansion of Nagarik Committees all over the State Police Stations in recent times.
Another citizen-centric scheme in Guwahati city police as conceived and initiated by the incumbent DGP, Kuladhar Saikia being setting up reception counters in select police stations in the city. Under the MOITRI scheme, the old police buildings in thanas are being renovated and newly-constructed to allow for all modern amenities for the citizens and police personnel so that new challenges in policing can be effectively met. Already two such new Police Station buildings have been inaugurated in July 2019 by Chief Minister, Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal.
The Mission Statement of Guwahati Police Commissionerate –
“Maintain order, prevent and detect crime by enforcing law firmly and impartially, without fear or favor, prejudice or vindictiveness.
Maintain the integrity and discipline of the highest order insincere performance of duties following the law and the Constitution and respect the rights of citizens as guaranteed by it.
Strive to build up a strong Police-Public bond to encourage community participation in law enforcement and promote harmony and spirit of brotherhood amongst all segments of society, transcending religious, linguistic, social, and regional diversities and to remove practices derogatory to the dignity of women and disadvantageous sections of society.
Strive to be courteous and well-mannered at all times, develop self-restraint and be truthful and honest in thought and deed, in both personal and official life.”
Special Task Force
The Special Task Force (STF), Assam was considered to be a tip-top power of Assam Police with proficient keenness concerning accuracy activity, wellness, quality examination, direction, and mastery on specialized contraptions to perform outstandingly perilous, high danger activities.
Notwithstanding the above mentioned, the command of the STF is to lead the examination of instances of muddled nature and expansive outcomes which additionally incorporates an examination of unique coordinated wrongdoings. The STF is going by a senior cop of the position of Additional Director General of Police who is helped by other labor involves the Ops Cell, Investigation Cell, Tech Cell, Surveillance Cell, the Logistic Cell, and the STF Police Station.
The STF Police Station was told on fourth October 2008, with Headquarters at the Office of the ADGP (STF) with ward all through the State of Assam, for the reasons for inquiry and examination of offenses.
The Tech Cell with information mining capacities is its unique composition. The Tech Cell is the principal knowledge and examination cell for foreseeing patterns and the nodal wing for mystery documentation and everything specialized. A profoundly particular Interrogation Unit and a Cyber Lab are likewise extra segments for the STF.
The Special Task Force, Assam appeared in July 2008.
Special Unit for SMART Policing
In tune with the Government’s vision of a SMART Police force by way of modernizing police personnel on the ground, Assam Police has raised and groomed 150 male and 50 women cops as its Smart Protection Unit (SPU). The unit was engaged during the visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan, the visit of the Hon’ble President of Bangladesh, the All India State Legal Services Meet, and the visit of the JPC. The SPU has received specialized training from Assam Police Commando Battalion at CIJW School, Mandakata. It is a matter of pride that the newly raised SPU has been conferred with the FICCI Smart Policing Awards, 2018.
A few months after an incident of molestation of a woman in the heart of Guwahati rocked the entire nation, the Assam Police in December 2012 introduced a special woman commando force called ‘Veerangana’ to tackle the growing trend of harassment of women in the city. The force comprises 100 women constables chosen from different units of the Assam Police. They have undergone rigorous training in martial arts, unarmed combat, motorcycle riding, arms drill, and silent drill for three months at the Police Training College, Dergaon before Veerangana was formally launched. Sixteen of them were also sent for initial training in Tamil Nadu.
Assam Police’s Veerangana incidentally is the first female police commando unit in the entire country. Specially instructed to act swiftly against eve-teasers or anyone trying to harm a woman’s modesty, the Veerangana commandos are also trained on women’s rights.
The concept of a special women’s force emerged from the greatest women warriors of India – from Mula Gabharu and Kanaklata of Assam to Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Ahalyabai of Holkar - who fought bravely and sacrificed their lives to protect the society. The Veerangana ideal commends physical training and active deployment of the body in combat, with the strength and efficacy of the Veeranganas being seen in many respects as similar to those of the warring goddess Durga or Kali, her victory over threatening enemies corresponding to the goddess’ punishment of evil demons. The Veeranganas, thus, conjoin physical prowess and moral strength in a startling counter paradigm of Indian womanhood.
Trained for the worst-case scenario, the Veeranganas can handle both lethal and non-lethal weapons, with their main aim being to make a woman feel safe and secure under any and every circumstance as she steps out of her home. Confident and quick in reflex, the Veeranganas scan bars, restaurants, and other places in Guwahati city every evening, on the look-out for unruly elements and try and avoid any unpleasant incident. They also patrol the streets, often also conducting surprise checks of both private vehicles as well as public transport.
Placed under the command and control of the Commandant, 4th AP Battalion, Kahilipara, the Veeranganas are, however, under the disposal of the Police Commissionerate, Guwahati for tackling crimes against women in the city. The Veeranganas has already made quite a difference to the overall security and safety of women in the Assam capital, and have given women the confidence to go out anywhere and anytime they want.
Criminal Investigation Department
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Assam Police was created in 1913 following recommendations of the Second Police Commission headed by Andrew Henderson Leith Fraser, a British officer of the Indian Civil Service, in 1902. While the new province of Assam came into existence in 1912 after it was bifurcated from Eastern Bengal (with which it was clubbed in 1905), the Police underwent substantial expansion based on Fraser’s report.
The CID was born with two wings – the Special Branch and the Investigation Branch – under it in 1913, the Finger Print Bureau, which was set up a year before that, was also immediately placed under it. It was first headed by a Special Superintendent of Police, and AEH Shettleworth was the first to occupy this position. With the CID gaining importance and facing an increased volume of work, the post of Deputy Inspector General of Police (CID) was created in 1935 and RR Cumming became its first DIG. The headquarters of Assam Police CID was shifted to Guwahati in 1974 from Shillong after the creation of Meghalaya in 1972.
Initially, the objectives of CID were to coordinate between the police of different districts and different ranges, to check crime, to secure detection and arrest of wanted criminals, to trace and recover stolen property, and to act as an agency for disseminating intelligence likely to aid police in their work. Over the years, however, the crime scenario has changed, and so has the CID. Now the CID has become the nodal agency for dealing with matters related to crime in the state. It is currently headed by a Special DGP/ADGP
CID investigates cases that are complex, organized, and have wider ramifications. The cases are either registered at CID Police Station or investigation is taken over by CID from district police by order of the Courts, Government of Assam or DGP, Assam. It conducts important inquiries endorsed by the Government of Assam, DGP Assam Police, the Courts, and Special, DGP, CID, as and when such orders are passed. It also gives guidance and assistance to Investigating Officers in investigation and monitors investigation of important cases of the districts. It also imparts in-house training apart from conducting training outside the CID headquarters, apart from extending technical support in investigation (cyber, fingerprint, etc.) to the districts.
In recent times, crimes have also become heavily technology-driven, leading to various new forms of crime, like cyber-crime, crimes involving Non-Banking Finance Companies, human trafficking, and so on. This has prompted the Assam Police CID to organize specialized training for its officers intended at the enhancement of both knowledge and skill required for effective and prompt investigation.
The Assam Police CID has as many as eleven units that have specialized functions. These are – Crime against Women and Children Cell
State Finger Print Bureau
Anti-Human Trafficking Unit
CID Police Station
State Crime Records Bureau
Cell for Organised and White-Collar Crimes
I. Crime against Women and Children
The Women’s Cell was set up in 1994, for monitoring and guidance of investigating officers for a thorough investigation of cases of crimes against women and children. In 1997, a Family Counselling Centre was set up in this Cell in consultation with the Social Welfare department for providing counseling to estranged couples as also to help reduce problems like family and marital disputes, atrocities on women, alcoholism, etc. In 2018, CID set up a State Women’s Cell, for particularly monitoring investigation of heinous cases related to crime against women. This Cell also supervises important cases all over the State involving crime against women. Realizing its commitment to society, this Cell has also played a major role in curbing social menaces like prostitution and dowry deaths. It also conducts raids in hotels, restaurants, private houses, beauty parlors, etc., from time to time to check illegal activities. This Cell has also developed posters on child-related laws and procedures, which have been distributed to different police stations for wider publicity of the campaign to curb crimes against children, as well as for generating awareness about care and protection of children and children in conflict with the law.
II. State Finger Print Bureau
The State Finger Print Bureau in the CID, Assam, is headed by the Director, FPB. The team of FPB experts visits the scene of the crime for the collection of chance prints and identification of criminals. Chance prints left by the culprits at the time of committing the crime are used to prove their culpability in the crime. The Bureau also maintains fingerprint slips of illegal migrants apprehended and pushed back by the Assam Police Border Branch.
III. Dog Squad
The Assam Police CID’s Dog Squad has eight tracker dogs, five sniffer (narcotic) dogs, and ten sniffer (explosive) dogs, which are being used in detecting crime and criminals. Sniffer and tracker dogs are deputed to different police districts. Sniffer dogs have been used during the process of investigation of different types of criminal cases and numerous cases have been successfully investigated with the help of services provided by the Dog Squad.
IV. Cyber Crime
With the number of cybercrimes increasing in the past few years, the Assam Police CID’s Cyber Crime Cell has become busier every passing day. The Supreme Court, in an order on October 24, 2017, in a suo moto writ petition relating to Videos of Sexual Violence and Recommendations had directed the government to set up a central reporting mechanism in every state police for receiving complaints of child pornography, rape, and gang-rape contents circulated through internet. Accordingly, the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2017 developed an online reporting portal called “cybercrime.gov.in” under its Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children scheme. Accordingly, the CID was appointed the Nodal agency to deal with matters related to the cyber portal. The Cell also has a helpline number to receive complaints, while a Cyber Forensic Training Lab is also coming up under it.
V. Cyber Crime Cell
Cyber Crime Cell is functioning at CID Headquarters in Guwahati intending to investigate complicated Cyber Crime cases, which the district police are not able to investigate properly due to lack of technical expertise at the district level. The offenses handled by this Cell broadly include:-
Social Media Fraud,
Hacking of Email ID/ Facebook ID/ Bank Accounts,
Creation of fraud account,
Publishing obscene materials on Facebook
Crime and Criminal Tracking Network &Systems (CCTNS) is an arrangement conspire considered in the light of the involvement of a non-plan plot to be specific - Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA). CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt of India. CCTNS targets making an extensive and incorporated framework for improving the productivity and adequacy of policing through embracing the rule of e-Governance and the formation of a cross country organizing foundation for the advancement of IT-empowered cutting edge global positioning framework around 'Examination of wrongdoing and location of crooks'.
CCTNS Assam has made steady progress since its inception in 2013 in terms of project implementation at the ground level. Online generation of 19.4 lakh GD and 4.96 lakh FIR is significant progress despite the limitation and challenges of this region. The key focus is to provide online citizen services to the public. With CCTNS Assam achieving 100% digitization of FIR and covering all the 348 police stations, Assam is among the top 10 performing states in terms of CCTNS implementation. While it has made online police verification for passports, Permanent Resident Certificates, PSUs, and other employers have also found the CCTNS service for online employee verification very handy and smooth. With Assam launching the National Police Portal in 2017, police investigation has become speedier due to the nationwide crime data sharing facility platform made available by CCTNS.
VII. Narcotic Cell
Assam has been facing the menace of illicit trade of narcotics and psychotropic drugs as it happens to be situated close to the Golden Triangle and on the corridor of narcotics trade connecting Myanmar, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, etc., with the rest of the country. A large number of youth and young adults are also falling prey to drug abuse. The Assam Police CID’s Narcotic Cell has helped in the detection of such crimes across the state. It also guides investigating officers for proper detection and investigation of such cases.
VIII. Anti-Human Trafficking Unit
Assam is a major source, transit route, and also a destination state for trafficking in persons. Given this backdrop, 36 AHTUs have been set up in Assam covering all districts, GRP, and CID. Of these, 10 AHTUs have been created with funds received from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Being multidisciplinary, the Unit involves persons from stakeholders like the departments of social welfare, health, labor, and prosecution, etc., including Police officers. It serves as an effective method of dealing with issues related to human trafficking with a multipronged approach. Assam Police has also created Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU) in all the districts to deal with children, both in need of care and protection and also with children in conflict with the law, in a child-friendly manner. Social workers have been roped into the SJPUs to assist the Child Welfare Police Officer in dealing with child victims. There are 35 SJPUs in the state covering all police districts and GRP. Meanwhile, the process of creating a digital database of offenders arrested in human trafficking cases has been initiated in the CCTNS. Assam Police CID being the nodal agency for dealing with issues related to human trafficking, also closely monitors such crime cases across the region, and conducts training for Police Officers in such matters in coordination with various stakeholders.
IX. Cyber Forensic Training Labs
Increased use of technology, more specifically the social media platforms, is believed to have led to an increase in incidents of human trafficking. Given this emerging scenario, the Assam Police CID has established two Cyber Forensic Training Laboratories in the state, one in Jorhat, the other in Silchar. These labs provide vital support to the investigation of cyber-crime cases including cyber-crime cases having a human trafficking angle. Five more of such laboratories, to be set up in different parts of the State, are in the pipeline.
CID Police station Assam Police set up a CID Police Station in 1997. While this police station enables the CID to register important cases after the preliminary inquiry has been made, cases are also forwarded from other police stations to the CID Police Station depending on the urgency and specialization of the investigation. The CID Police Station also gets several cases endorsed by the PMO portal and the CMO portal from time to time.
X. State Crime Record Bureau
The SCRB in CID collects, maintains, and consolidates all crime-related data. All the crime-related information and replies of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assembly, besides crime returns, are dealt with by this Bureau. It also carries out an analysis of crime data on a need basis from time to time. The Bureau also provides data to the National Crime Record Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs for publication of the ‘Crime in India’ report and other purposes.
XI. Other organized & White-collar Crime Cell
Assam has witnessed an increase in the number of organized crimes in the past few years. These include cases relating to arms trafficking, wildlife crime, illegal coal trade, sand mining, betting and gambling, fake Indian currency notes (FICN), etc. The Cell, which is assigned to deal with such crime matters, assists the investigators of such cases across the State, apart from imparting training to the investigators for enhancing their capacity and thereby improving the quality of investigation.
XII. Training & Capacity Building
CID Assam conducts regular training programs for officers of various levels from all over the state as a part of its capacity-building initiatives. The training programs cover legal aspects in an investigation, new trends in crimes, human trafficking, crimes against women and children, and so on. Resource persons are drawn from other institutions and organizations apart from senior officers of the Assam Police, depending upon the topics taken up for training. Senior officers of CID Assam also attend various seminars, conferences, and workshops as resource persons, in which they share their experiences, especially related to handling and solving cyber-crime, crimes against women and children, narcotics-related crime, wildlife crime, and so on.
The Special Branch of the Assam Police was originally a branch under the CID, which itself was created in 1913. The British government had created it for gathering intelligence about the freedom movement and also for its concern over extremist activities that were beginning to take place here and there across the then large province of Assam covering almost the entire present-day Northeast. In 1965 however, it was bifurcated from CID and made a separate wing altogether, under the command, control, and supervision of one Deputy Inspector General of Police. Subsequently, this position was upgraded to that of an Additional Director General of Police.
The Special Branch has two different set-ups, these being the Headquarters in Guwahati and the District Special Branch (DSB) set-up in the districts. The entire work handled by SB Headquarters has been categorized into Sections to exclusively deal with earmarked subjects. Each Section has a staff varying from 10 to 15 in the rank of Inspector, Sub Inspector, and Constables.
The DSBs on the other hand are administratively under the Special Branch Headquarters but operationally under the Superintendents of Police of the respective districts. It has an effective network of intelligence and has been rendering valuable service to the State. Way back in 1962, the Assam Police Border Wing (now Assam Police Border Organisation) was established under the Special Branch to implement the P.I.P. (Prevention of Infiltration of Pakistani) Scheme. In 1974 however, the Border Organisation was separated from the Special Branch.
The Special Branch also has a Special Operations Unit (SOU) under it – which has been notified as a Police Station – to deal with activities of militant groups and important cadres of such groups. The Superintendent of Police of the Special Operations Unit exercises the power of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station.
The Special Branch has played a more role in bringing back a large number of youth from the path of militancy and violence. The most significant achievement is the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement that the government signed with as many as 14 militant groups.
It has also been involved in operating and managing the special rehabilitation scheme in collaboration with other government departments. SWABALAMBAN scheme, launched recently, has given a platform for skill development and rehabilitation by providing economic opportunities to the surrendered militants.
The Assam Commando Battalion was raised on January 18, 1996, as an elite force intended at combating the insurgency problem in Assam. The headquarters of the Battalion was first temporarily set up at Kahilipara, in the 4th Assam Police Battalion campus.
The personnel of this unit were initially selected from different Battalions and District Executive Forces of Assam Police. Altogether 489 personnel from the rank of Constable to Deputy Superintendent of Police were sent to Commando Training Centre, Police Recruits Training Centre at Jahankhelam, Punjab, in 1995 for undergoing two-month commando training with sophisticated weapons and advanced tactics. Later, several batches of younger Assam Police personnel who underwent the Police Commando Instructor Course / Police Ranger Commando Course at the National Security Guard Training Centre in Manesar, Haryana, were inducted into the battalion to phase out the aging personnel.
In 2000 Assam Commando Battalion was shifted to Mandakata in North Guwahati, which has also become the nerve-center of specialized commando training of the Assam Police. The Commando Battalion personnel are the toughest among all across the Assam Police family and undergo rigorous training and upgrading of skills regularly to remain prepared to fight terrorists.
The Assam Police Commando Battalion has three units – (i) Black Panthers is an elite commando force equipped with the latest weapons and technology for anti-terrorist operations and VVIP protection; (ii) Assam Police Rangers, raised in 2012, is a force that used targeted team operations against militants. The Rangers include around 120 police personnel specially trained for counter-insurgency operations; (iii) Veerangana, comprising about 100 women commandos, was raised in 2012 to tackle crimes against women.
The Commando Battalion consists of several Assault Groups. Each of the groups is headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police rank officer.
Some of the Commando Battalion training facilities include parade grounds, one 32- item obstacle course, one artificial rock climbing wall, one four-lane driving training simulator, one bomb firing range, one small arms firing range, and adequate swimming facilities.
There is a whole series of training courses in the Commando Battalion campus at Mandakata, which include VIP Security course, Counter-Insurgency Commando course, Counter-Insurgency & Jungle Warfare Course, Un-armed Combat Course, Anti-Terrorist & VIP Protection Commando Course, PSO Course, Weapons & Tactics Course, and Commando Course with other State Police.
The origin of River Police in Assam can be traced back to as early as 1905 when Assam was clubbed with Eastern Bengal by the British government to constitute a new province with Dhaka as capital. It also saw certain significant changes in the Police administration, which included the creation of a ‘Railway and River Police’. While a report for the formation of a River Police was prepared by E C Stuart Baker, then DIG of CID in 1910, he was given additional charge of the Railway and River Police immediately after it was created in the next couple of years. Though a River Police district was formally constituted in Assam in 1915, River Police never received proper attention for several decades except for the formal constitution of a River Police District in 1915.
It was only in 1960 that the River Police Organisation of Assam Police came into being. Constituted under provisions of Rule 58 of the Assam Police Manual, Part VI, it was later rechristened as River Police Organization in 1979 and made a separate River Police district covering Goalpara, Kamrup, and Darrang districts. There are now four River Police Stations in Assam, these being Goalpara River Police Station (Pancharatna) in Goalpara district, Sualkuchi River Police Station in Kamrup, Tezpur River Police Station in Sonitpur district, and Biswanath Ghat River Police Station in Sonitpur district. Apart from these, there are also seven River Police Outposts – Buraburi (Mahamaya) RPOP in Dhubri district, Nagarbera RPOP in Kamrup district, Beki RPOP in Barpeta district, Pandu RPOP in Guwahati Police Commissionerate, Chanderdinga RPOP, Dhubri district, Majeralga RPOP, and Aye RPOP – both in Bongaigaon district.
Assam shares about 245 km of international boundary with Bangladesh, of which 110 km comprises rivers and riverine areas. Given the frequent incidents of illegal trans-border movement of people as well as contraband items, the River Police is vested with the responsibility of defending the riverine route and maintaining law and order situations in the said area.
There are several rivers through which the international boundary between India and Bangladesh passes in Assam. They include 61 km of the Brahmaputra in Dhubri and South Salmara districts and about three km of the Kushiara river in Karimganj district.
The history of Civil Defence in Assam dates back to the time of the Second World War which necessitated the protection of the civil population during air raids, Civil Defence was introduced in Assam in 1941 as the War began moving into the province. It was, however, in 1968 that Parliament passed the Civil Defence Act, extending to the whole of India, for affording protection to any person, property, or place against any hostile attack. Civil Defence was first activated in a big way in post-Independence Assam in the wake of the Chinese aggression of 1962. Activities of Civil Defence became more prominent in the wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.
The Civil Defence Organisation is part of the Assam Police, with a separate Director-General commanding both Civil Defence and the Home Guards. The District Magistrate is the Controller of Civil Defence at the district level, while a Deputy Controller holds charge of 17 Civil Defence towns like Guwahati, Tezpur, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Digboi, Duliajan, Namrup, North Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Goalpara, Dhubri, and Golaghat. There are altogether over 27,000 trained Civil Defence volunteers across the state who are required to come out at times of natural and man-made calamities.
The history of Home Guards dates back to the time of the Second World War. India’s first Home Guards force was created in December 1946 in Mumbai to assist the police in controlling civil disturbances and communal riots. The Home Guards was formed in Assam in 1962 along with several other states following a Central government advisory in the wake of the Chinese aggression. The broad role of the Home Guards, which functions under the Director-General of Civil Defence and Home Guards, include (i) serving as an auxiliary to the police and assisting in the maintenance of internal security, (ii) assisting the community in an emergency like air raids, fire, floods, epidemics, etc, (iii) assisting the administration in promoting communal harmony, (iv) participating in socio-economic and welfare activities, etc.
The Assam Home Guards is divided into three divisions and 14 districts with five urban wings. The sanctioned strength of Home Guards volunteers in Assam is a little over 23,000, and about 10,000 of them are deployed under the Police for Law and Order duty while about 5,000 are engaged for security duty in other agencies.
There are four-armed Home Guards Battalions under the Director-General of Civil Defence and Home Guards. These include two Assam Special Reserve Force Battalions (located at Barjar in Nalbari and Karagaon in Karbi Anglong respectively) and two Battalions of the Assam Industrial Security Force (located at Bahbari in Tezpur and Chabua in Dibrugarh respectively). While the ASRF battalions are deployed under the Police for Law and Order and security related duties under the operational control of the DGP, Assam, the AISF battalions are deployed for providing to tea estates and other private and public sector industries of the state.
The Home Guards and Civil Defence personnel are imparted training at the Central Training Institute of Civil Defence and Home Guards, located at Panikhaiti near Guwahati. It also serves as a training center for volunteers from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram too.
INSTITUTIONS FOR TRAINING OF POLICE
A Mounted Platoon of the Assam Police was created in 1964, purely temporarily, with its headquarter located at the 5th Assam Police Battalion in Kahilipara, Guwahati. It was only in 1970 that the personnel comprising the platoon were given permanent status. In 1973, the platoon was upgraded with increased strength and was rechristened as Mounted Police. In 1980, when the 5th Assam Police Battalion was shifted from Guwahati to Sontila in Dima Hasao district, the Mounted Police was transferred to the 4th Assam Police Battalion, also located in Kahilipara. There is a separate Riding School in the Police Training College in Dergaon where both cadets and horses are imparted training.
The object and purpose of Mounted Police are two-fold – (i) Equitation training of Cadet Sub-Inspectors, Deputy SP Trainees, and IPS Probationers, and (ii) Deployment in operational duties and Law and Order duties, patrolling, ceremonial guard, and sports.
The Mounted Police have been created mainly for crowd control, management, and dispersal of disorderly mobs during processions, demonstrations, rallies, and dharnas. Area patrolling, like in river banks, ghats, parks, open green spaces, carnival, sporting events, and large public gatherings also constitute the purpose of the Mounted Police, while there is also provision for deploying them in traffic control and management. These apart, Mounted Police is also assigned ceremonial duties and any other duty assigned by the Director-General of Police, Assam. Equestrian being also a major sports activity, this Mounted Police have participated in several equestrian meets held in different parts of the country representing Assam as well as Assam Police.
Assam Police Housing Corporation
Assam Police Housing Corporation Ltd is a public sector undertaking of the Government of Assam, which was incorporated in November 1980. Under the administrative control of the Home department of the Government of Assam, its major area of mandated activity is the construction of various administrative as well as residential buildings for g Institutesthe Assam Police. The company has of late also ventured into procuring construction contracts in other departments of both, the state government as well as the central government. The Corporation is entrusted with the implementation of the MOITRI scheme.
Assam Police has five major training institutions, of which four are located at Dergaon in Golaghat district. The oldest among them is the Police Training College, established in 1948. Originally located at Salonibari near Tezpur, it was shifted to Dergaon on April 1, 1949. The place where the Police Training College was set up as an abandoned airfield of the Air Transport Command of the Allied Army, from where aircraft of the 3rd Combat Cargo operated, airlifting among other items, gasoline, and pipes to Myanmar, the latter for laying a pipeline along the Stilwell Road to transport petroleum from Digboi refinery to the war front.
The Police Training College, initially set up to offer training facilities to police personnel of various ranks, catered to the needs of the police forces of the entire North-eastern Region until the North East Police Academy (NEPA) was set up at Barapani, near Shillong. DC Dutt, an IPS officer of the British era, was its founder-director. The College imparts training for a few weeks to IPS Probationers allotted to the Assam-Meghalaya Joint Cadre after they pass out of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad.
Assam Police Academy
The Police Training College at Dergaon is being upgraded into a state-of-the-art training institution for police personnel and rechristened as Assam Police Academy. The foundation stone of the upcoming Assam Police Academy was laid by chief minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal. Being equipped with a modern curriculum and training modules, the institution will help in building the trainees as a quality human resource. Envisaged as a world-class training institution, the Assam Police Academy will not only cater to Assam Police personnel but also meet the advanced training needs of police forces of the other Northeastern states, apart from reaching out to other states and neighboring countries.
Recruit Training School
The Recruit Training School, also located at Dergaon, was established in 1973. It imparts training to Constables of the Unarmed Branch of the Assam Police. Besides regular courses of drill and discipline and armed training, it also extends courses on laws of the country, human rights, and behavior.
Armed Police Training Centre
The Armed Police Training Centre (APTC) was established on April 1, 1974, in the 5th Assam Police Battalion campus at Kahilipara, Guwahati, and B Barthakur, IPS, was its first Commandant. The APTC was, however, shifted to Dergaon in 1977. The APTC provides basic training to the armed personnel of different wings of the Assam Police. Besides routine courses of drill and discipline, it also imparts training in unarmed combat, boxing, and in the handling of various kinds of firearms and weapons, fieldcraft, and tactics. Police forces of other states of the region also occasionally send batches of trainees to the APTC. The Central Arms Repair School (CARS) of the Assam Police on the other hand functions under the aegis of the APTC. This workshop carries out minor repairs of all kinds of arms used by the police.
f CIAT Schools
As per the scheme under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India during the 11th Plan Period (2002-2007), approved for the establishment of Counter-Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism (CIAT) Schools, and four such schools were approved for Assam. The basic objective behind setting up these special training schools is to improve the efficiency of its personnel engaged in combating the malady of insurgency/terrorism.
The Assam Police organization has set up three such schools so far and imparted training to nearly 10,000 police personnel till the end of 2018.
The three Counter-Insurgency and Anti Terrorism Schools in Assam are located on the campuses of the Police Training College at Dergaon, 8th Assam Police Battalion at Abhayapuri in Bongaigaon district, and the 23rd Assam Police (IR) Battalion at Siloni in Karbi Anglong.
While the CIAT School at Dergaon is under the administrative control of the Principal of the Police Training College, Commandants of the 8th APBn and 23rd APBn are the supervisory heads of the other two schools respectively. Training in all three CIAT Schools began in 2010. The administrative support is provided by the host battalion and the Commandant of the host Battalion.
Courses in these CIAT Schools are comprehensive and cover, among others, modules like Tactics, Field Survey, Map reading, Handling explosives, Anti-Insurgency, Firing practices, Jungle warfare, etc.
A single batch usually consists of 80 to 100 jawans drawn from various Units, Battalions, and DEFs. The CIAT Schools have all the required facilities and infrastructure in tune with the purpose of their establishment – to hone the skill of Assam Police personnel in carrying out counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism operations and investigations.
Since the CIAT training mostly comprises of outdoor activities, the CIAT Schools do not require large-scale permanent constructions, and function in temporary infrastructure provided available in the three locations mentioned above. The Ministry of Home Affairs provides funds for the establishment, maintenance, and equipment up-gradation of the CIAT Schools. The Bureau of Police Research & Development also extends some administrative support to these schools.
Village Defence Organisation
Assam Police has shown the way by creating a unique force called Village Defence Organisation (VDO) way back in 1950, a concept that has been picked up by some other states of the country as well as neighboring countries. Moreover, a couple of other major initiatives taken in recent years have given a new meaning to participate in policing.
Way back in 1949, when freedom fighter and legislator late Harinarayan Baruah organized a small group of youth in a village called Birinasayek near Titabor in Jorhat district to look after and safeguard their village, little did he imagine that it would one day become a state wide-body and even attract international attention. As the concept – initially called Gaon-Rakshi Bahini (Village Defence Party) – soon began to spread across different districts within a short period. Gradually it came to be known as Village Defence Organization. The government, on noticing that it was providing vital support to the police and administration in maintaining security and social order in the village, extended recognition to it by enacting the Village Defence Organisation Act in 1966.
The Village Defence Organisation is headed by the Director-General of Police, but functions under a Chief Controller, who is generally a DIG of the Assam Police. The SPs are designated as District Village Defence Officers, while the SDPO/Dy SP (HQ) is the Sub Divisional Village Defence Officer. The Officer-in-Charge of the police station on the other hand is the Thana Village Defence Officer who directly deals with the Village Defence Party (VDP) members who are all volunteers from among the youth of the respective villages.
A Village Defence Party (VDP) – the primary unit of the organization – is headed by a Nayak, and he has a group of members under him, who attend village patrolling duty every night by turn purely as volunteers. Under each Police Station area, however, there is a Circle Organiser, who is a salaried person under the VDO. The Circle Organiser is the key person who organizes and supervises the VDPs under each police station area. There are 202 sanctioned posts of CO, VDO.
Though the Director General of Police is the head of the Village Defence Organisation, there are a few honorary functionaries who are designated with the responsibility of motivating the volunteers and promote and popularize the concept and objectives of the organization. These honorary functionaries are – Honorary Chief Adviser, Honorary Adviser (one each at the state level), and an Honorary Deputy Advisor in all the Sub-Divisions.
Several advisory committees guide and regulate the functioning of the Village Defence Organization at various levels in the districts. These are – District Advisory Committee, Sub-Divisional Advisory Committee, Thana Advisory Committee, and Primary Committee.
The VDPs execute a wide range of duties. These include – routine patrolling of the village with or without the local police, guarding vital installations like oil pipelines, railway tracks, and bridges, assisting the police in preventing and detecting crimes and criminals and gathering intelligence, assisting the state machinery during elections (especially by manning the polling booths).
Every registered VDP member receives a monthly pocket money of Rs 1,500 and those members of VDPs who are engaged in surveillance of railway tracks from Srirampur to Guwahati receive a monthly sum of Rs 3,000 per head.
Recently, the Chief Minister of Assam also announced a financial grant of Rupees one lakh to the next of kin of any VDP volunteer who dies on duty. Each year, on January 29, the Assam Police organizes the foundation day of the Village Defence Organisation centrally at a chosen venue.
The government meanwhile has installed a statue and constructed a meeting hall in the memory of Late Harinarayan Baruah in Jorhat. The Village Defence Organisation has in the meantime adopted Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala’s famous song ‘Gaynor Lora Gaon-e Bonti Jolai Jason Ami’ as its theme song.
Delving deep into the phenomenon of social prejudices like witch-hunting that had severely affected some of the interior villages in few districts, then DIG Kuladhar Saikia (who later rose to become DGP in 2018) came up with this brilliant concept of an approach to Community Policing in August 2001. It was perceived that the new approach would hit the root cause of the social malady so that the law enforcement agency can play a major role in preventing such a social malady.
Christened as Project PRAHARI – the latter an acronym for ‘Pragatir Hake Raij’ (‘People for Progress’) in the local language – its broad objectives were as follows:
Ø Prevention of Social Conflicts, delinquencies, and eradication of superstitions and prejudices like witch-hunting, black magic, etc.
Ø Empowerment, knowledge accessibility, and capacity building for vertical mobility.
Ø Social participation, decision-making, development, and management.
Ø Reconnecting individuals with community, communities with the government and economy.
Ø Face to the Uniform.
While local police played a pivotal role in the network of community partners involving different agencies, NGOs, village and traditional institutions, science clubs, youth and women’s groups, Project Prahari registered an encouraging impact in the first attempt itself made in Kokrajhar. This initial success almost immediately prompted then DGP Harekrishna Deka to declare it as a state-level initiative.
Soon every district under this project began selecting a village that was either crime-infested, communally sensitive, terrorist prone, or inhabited by socially underprivileged people, frequent interactions were held with members of the community to understand and identify the root causes of their problems, and then solutions sought at the local level with the people becoming the main players of the development process. Project Prahari emphasized building a bridge of friendship and cooperation between the police and the communities and worked as a two-way process -- the police launched a slew of activities like social participation in decision-making, empowerment, knowledge accessibility, and capacity building among the villagers, which came in return was massive intelligence inputs, which in turn, helped the police in prevention of social tension, ethnic conflicts, and criminal and terrorist activities.
Mass awareness campaign by district police under Project Prahari all over the state against social prejudices, mass-lynching, drug addiction with the collaboration of experts, and reputed institution is the hallmark of the project.
Community participation led to some wonderful changes. Villagers of Serfanguri, Kolabari, Kharbuja, and Chilsilibari for instance, got together not just to resolve group conflicts but also revived in just 25 days the 5-km Longa Canal that was lying in a dilapidated condition for more than a decade. The people set up a Prahari Water Users Committee to manage the canal, and soon the villagers enhanced their agricultural production by taking to two crops a year. Such an effort was also soon replicated by villagers of Donhsinginari in the Golaghat district where people dug a one-km long canal to irrigate their paddy fields.
People of eleven villages in Kokrajhar – including Thaigerguri, Islampur, Kolabari, and Demdema – were trained in weaving and other local crafts with experts from the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design providing advanced lessons on trendy designs and marketing. Villagers of Betbari in Bongaigaon district took to apiculture on a large scale, while those of Shipansila and Sara para received advanced training in bamboo craft, Venetian blinds, and other items under experts from the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre. Several youths of Taiphaneng village of Tinsukia on the other hand were imparted training in motor driving. Groups of villagers who have taken to making various handicraft and handloom items meanwhile were provided market linkage through NEDFi-haat and other organizations, so that their products reach out to the urban customers.
Women, however, comprise the backbone of Project Prahari, always having majority participation in Community Management Group meetings and mandatorily holding important offices in the CMGs, thus playing a significant role in decision-making. Exposing women to knowledge and skills related to maternity and reproductive health as also basic healthcare practices on the other hand have helped stop the menace of black-magic and witch-craft practiced by local quacks, thus bringing down incidents of witch-hunting in a big way.
Engaging in positive developmental activities under Project Prahari has prevented a large number of village youth from straying into criminal and terrorist groups. It also resulted in reducing public support to insurgent groups, thus relieving the villagers from the menace of extortions, abduction, and other related problems. In many places, villagers also got together to construct bridges on minor rivers with local resources, which in turn have led to increased attendance of children in schools, especially in the rainy season.
Project Prahari also anchored programs for eradication of illiteracy and gender violence, while more women have become aware of the need to maintain personal hygiene in addition to improving the general health of both women and children. The Assam State Women’s Commission and the Guwahati regional center of the National Institute of Public Cooperation & Child Development were roped in to train women from different districts in strategies to 135 prevent crimes against women and children.
The biggest achievement of Project Prahari, however, was its active role in suggesting measures for the enactment of the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015. While stakeholders of Project Prahari played an active role in the campaign for enacting such a law to bring an end to the practice of witch-hunting, it led to the unanimous passing of the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015, by the Assam Legislative Assembly on August 13, 2015, which got the approval of the President of India in the year 2018.
Project Prahari also attracted a lot of national and international attention. While it got enough coverage in the media the world over, the Country Status report ‘Platform for Action: After 10 Years’, published by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Department of Women Child Welfare, Government of India, and presented to the UNO General Assembly meeting in 2005 highlighted the achievements of Project Prahari as a successful model for women empowerment.
Students and scholars of various institutions have also found Project Prahari a very significant topic of study. A team of faculty members from the Singapore-based management institute called INSEAD visited Thaigerguri, Kalabari, Betbari, and other villages of Kokrajhar to undertake a field study of the impact of the Project Prahari. A case study on Project Prahari prepared by the INSEAD team on ‘Police as an agent of change’ later appeared in Harvard Business Review in 2015.
Likewise, a team of students and research scholars from the Conflict Transformation & Peace-Building Studies of Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University visited villages in Kokrajhar to make an on-the-spot study. Several batches of probationers belonging to the IAS and IPS also visited Prahari villages in Kokrajhar as part of their field study.
The Prahari model was presented in several institutions of international repute too. They include Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Institute of Economic Growth (Delhi University), National Police Academy, Indian Institute of Technology (Guwahati), Jamia Milia University, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Tezpur University, Lee Kaun Yew School of Public Policy under the National University of Singapore, etc. Project Prahari on the other hand roped in the OKD Institute of Social Change & Development, Guwahati, to make a study into the dynamics of witchcraft-related offenses and suggest policy prescriptions for the prevention of this social menace.
The Bureau of Police Research & Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, on the other hand, has not only appreciated Project Prahari by terming it one of the best practices in India for the changes it has brought about in remote villages across Assam but has also highlighted it for emulation in its project for Community Policing Programme for Leftwing extremists affected areas.
Formerly known as Aashwas, the Project Assist is operated by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), New Delhi, with active cooperation from Assam Police. The project was originally conceived by the former DGP, H K Deka, and taken forward by its nodal officer, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, IPS.
Assam Police has lost over 500 police personnel in extremist-related violence in the state over nearly one and a half-decade. While such a large number of brave police personnel laid down their lives fighting extremists, their families were pushed into difficult situations, with the children becoming the worst victims. Though the families did receive adequate monetary compensation, children orphaned by extremist violence were often forced to quit school as their mothers struggled to make both ends meet.
The project has the following three major components – (i) Training curriculum module for Police personnel to develop a community orientation, (ii) Campaign for awareness and sensitization, and (iii) A scheme to ensure direct assistance to the children of victim families for their educational rehabilitation through finance provided by National Foundation for Communal Harmony.
In April 2003, Assam Police launched Project Sahayog – a project exclusively involving the Assam Police Battalions in community policing. Each Battalion was made to identify a village within a 10-km radius of its headquarters, carry out a detailed survey of the educational, economic, and social conditions of the villagers, identify feasible existing government developmental schemes and then encourage the village youth to take up specific growth-oriented projects by forming self-help groups.
The basic objectives of Project Sahayog were – (i) Motivating village youth to be self-reliant by actively participating in various government developmental schemes, (ii) Formation of self-help groups among village youth to derive benefits offered by different financial institutions for setting up viable projects based on local resources, (iii) Support villagers in interactions with developmental agencies for overall socio-economic uplift of the local area.
As its logo says, service to and welfare of the people are the top priorities of Assam Police. Keeping this in mind, the then Guwahati City SP Kuladhar Saikia in 1996 drew up a comprehensive plan for the meaningful participation of the public in policing in Guwahati City. It was exactly on July 3, 1996, that the first Nagarik Committee was formed under the Panbazar police station.
Soon the idea was extended to all police stations in the city, to provide a platform for peoples’ participation in policing their localities by adopting the strategy of ‘Watch thy neighborhood’. In 1999, formal guidelines of the Nagarik Committee were prepared by then City SP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, providing one Nagarik Committees for each municipality ward, with sub-committees having specific responsibilities.
The Nagarik Committees continue to meet on a monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly basis to discuss civic and crime-related problems in specific areas, as also ways and means of solving them are decided.
Assisting the updating of NRC
Assam Police has been playing an active role in assisting the process of updating of National Register of Citizens (NRC) by providing all sorts of security and law and order management. Apart from making foolproof deployment of forces and collaboration with different CAPFs, it has been sensitizing the people in vulnerable areas by participating in public-connect programs. The OCs of police stations along with other force personnel and senior officers have been regularly undertaking tours into interior areas while providing adequate security measures to the officials and staff connected with the NRC updating process. All such actions have resulted in the peaceful release of drafts of the NRC, for which Assam Police has been appreciated all across the country including in the All India DGPs/IGPs conference held in December 2018 in Gujarat.
The paper has attempted to explore the entire organizational and functional structure of the Police Administration in Assam. And in this attempt, it has been established how this department is essential for not only maintaining law and order in a particular State but also for establishing a welfare state. However, better public co-ordination and a much more accountable police department are still required for achieving the objectives behind establishing such a well-organized and wholesome department for police administration in the State of Assam.
 Jonotar Sorkar, My GOV Meri Sarkar, (Oct. 2020, 03 09:30 AM), https://assam.mygov.in/en/group/assam-police/.  Government of Assam Home & Political Assam Police, (Oct. 2020, 02, 10:00 PM), www.assampolice.gov.in.  Ibid.  Ibid.  P.M. Bakshi, The Constitution of India, (Universal Law Publication, Delhi).  Ibid.  Ibid.  Ibid.  S.K.Ghosh and K.F.Rustamji- Encyclopedia of Police in India, 1, 218.  Supra note 10.  Ibid.  Ibid.  Supra note 6.  Home (A) Department deals with the following matters: Enforcement of law & order; Crime detection & punishment of offenders, Establishment matters relating to Indian Police Service & Assam Police Service Officers, Establishment matters relating to Director General & Inspector General of Police, his office & his subordinate offices, Establishment matters of Forensic Science Laboratory, State Police Wireless & matters relating to Assam Police Radio Organization, Police Intelligence, Raising & maintenance of Police Force including Railway Police, River Police, Village, Defense Organization, Assam Police Battalions and India Reserve Battalions; Modernization of Police Force, Modernization Scheme of Forensic Science Laboratory; etc.  - Home (B) Department deals with the following matters: Establishment of Home Guards & Civil Defense officers; Raising, training & establishment matters relating to Home Guards & Civil Defense volunteers, Deployment of Home Guard & Civil Defense volunteers in emergency needs such as air raid, natural calamities – flood, fire, earthquake, storm etc., Impart training to officials & civilians to meet the exigencies during the natural calamities as well as man made disasters, Static Police duties to supplement the normal Police Force, Implementation of Civil Defense measures in approved A.R.P. towns, Preparation of Budget of Home Guards & Civil Defense and control thereof; Administration of Prisons, prisoners & persons detained in prisons; etc.  Home (C) Department is responsible for the following: Issue of prosecution sanction under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Establishment of new Police Stations, Out Posts, Police District; Implementation of Finance Commission award for construction of Police Stations and Out Posts and other buildings, Matter relating to re-imbursement of security related expenditure, purchase of arms and ammunition for Assam Police under Modernization of Police Force scheme, Reimbursement of expenditure for deployment of CPMF, Deployment of Security Guard for various Govt. and semi Govt. Organization, Issue of Arms Licenses; etc.  Government of Assam, Home & Political Department, (Oct. 2020, 03, 09:45 AM), http://onlineedistrict.amtron.in/web/home-and-political-department.  CCTNS, Crime & Criminal Tracking Network & System, (Oct. 2020, 02, 10:12 PM), https://assampolice.assam.gov.in/citizen/CitizenCharter/Default2.aspx The Assam Police is headed by Director General of Police, the current director general of the Assam Police is Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, IPS · Assam police forces are organized into police ranges, headed by an inspector general deputy inspector general, who controls several police districts. · The police district is the fulcrum of state police activity and each district is headed by a superintendent. In many states a superintendent is assisted by one or more additional superintendents or deputy superintendents. Generally, a police district is same as a revenue district of a state. · The police district is divided into police sub-divisions under the command of a deputy superintendent of subdivision police officer. · The police sub-division is made up of one or more police circles, and is under the command of an inspector, often referred to as the circle inspector. · Under the police circles are the police stations, generally under the control of a sub-inspector.  Assam Police- Special Branch, Assam, Assam Police, (Oct. 2020, 06, 10:20 AM), https://web.archive.org/web/20010303220101/http://www.assampolice.com/departments/splbranch.htm. Assam-Police-the-Journey-through-challenges-change https://police.assam.gov.in/sites/default/files/swf_utility_folder/departments/assampolice_webcomindia_org_oid_8/this_comm/assam-police-the_journey-through-challangeschanges-116-179.pdf.