LAW, ORDER AND JUSTICE
Law Order and Justice Police
THE PRIMARY DUTY OF THE POLICE is prevention and detection
of crime and maintenance of law and order, for which they have
to obtain intelligence concerning commission of cognisable
offences or plans to commit them and to take steps to prevent
such offences or to bring the offenders to justice. In a Welfare State, greater responsibilities and duties devolve on the police. In their day to day work they have to maintain law and order, prevent public nuisances, escort prisoners and treasure, apprehend offenders, control traffic, serve summonses and warrants, look after the health and comforts of person in custody, prevent loss or damage by flood or fire to person or property, prevent accident or danger to the public, destroy wild animals where they constitute a nuisance, destroy stray dogs, collect political intelligence, verify characters, enforce special or local laws in connection with the epidemic diseases, register and watch foreigners, etc.
Under Section 17 of the Bombay Police Act, the District Magistrate has full control over the district police force. In exercising this authority, the District Magistrate is subject to the rules and orders made by the State Government and to the lawful orders of the Revenue Commissioner. Under Section 6 (1) of the Bombay Police Act, 1951, the direction and supervision of the whole police force in the State vest with the Inspector-General of Police, who is assisted by one or more Assistant Inspectors-General of Police of the rank of the District Superintendent of Police. It is the province of the Inspector-General of Police to advise the Government on all problems, specially those connected with police personnel, their training and equipment, supplies and stores, financial provision required for the maintenance of the force and other powers and duties of various grades of officers, and to make rules and orders for the guidance of officers on all such matters. He has to keep in touch by frequent inspections with the requirements of efficiency of the police force to keep due watch over all matters relating to the maintenance of law and order and prevention and detection of crime.
For the purpose of administration, the State is divided into four Police Ranges
besides Greater Bombay. These four ranges
correspond with the four divisions for which Divisional Cora-
missioners are appointed with their headquarters at Bombay,
Poona, Nagpur and Aurangabad. Commissioner of Police of
each of the four ranges is under the control of a Deputy
Inspector-General of Police. Below these officers are the Dis- trict Superintendents of Police in charge of Districts and \ Superintendents of Police in charge of the Railways.
Subject to the control of the District Magistrate and the
Inspector-General of Police in their spheres of authority, the
direction and regulation of the police throughout the district is
vested in the District Superintendent of Police, the executive
head of the force and has full control over the internal economy
of the force under him including recruitment of constabulary,
their equipment, training, arms, prevention and detection of
crime, prosecution, discipline and other related matters.
There are 31 police stations and 2 out-posts in the district which are divided in three sub-divisions for the purpose of administration and control of crime. The Amravati City Sub-Division consists of six police stations within the radius of 10 miles of the City, the Amravati Rural Sub-Division, 13 police stations and the Achalpur Sub-Division, 12 police stations. Each of the Sub-Division is under the charge of a Deputy Superintendent of Police or an Assistant Superintendent of Police. The Sub-Divisional Police Officers are further assisted by the Circle Police Inspectors.
For recruitment and training of the constabulary and other branches of work, there is one headquarter at Amravati which is in charge of the Home Police Inspector, who is assisted by a Reserve Police Sub-Inspector.
On November 1, 1956, there were 61 officers and 1,047 men in
the police force of the district. The strength was augmented from time to time and on December 31, 1960, the police force of the district consisted of 78 officers and 1,586 men. The District Police Force at present, is composed of:
District Superintendent of Police, 1; Sub-Divisional Police Officers, 3; Police Inspectors, 7; Police Sub-Inspectors, 67 including one armed Police Sub-Inspector; 318 Head Constables including 235 armed and 1,267 Police Constables including 393 armed. The total strength of the police force worked out to 1 Policeman, for 28 square miles and for 738.8 persons.
As the head of the force, the primary duties of the District Superintendent of Police are to keep the force under his control properly trained, efficient and contented and to ensure by constant supervision that prevention, investigation and detection of crime in the district are properly and efficiently dealt with. For this purpose he has to associate with the public to ascertain their needs generally and to be constantly in touch with his subordinates. He also has to carry out inspections of the police stations and other branches of work annually.
Assistant Superintendents of Police or Deputy Superintendents of Police are responsible for all crimes in their charge and
visitation of serious offences. Under the general orders of the
Deputy Superintendent of Police, they are responsible for the efficiency and discipline of officers and men under them and for holding detailed inspections of police stations and out-posts at regular intervals.
Police Inspectors are placed in charge of two of the police stations in Amravati City Division on account of heavy work. They perform the same duties as those of the Sub-Inspectors in charge of the police stations.
To each of the Sub-Divisions one Police Inspector, called the Circle Police Inspector, is attached. He is employed almost entirely on work relating to the detection and eradication of crime with the co-ordination of the police stations under him and investigation of important and organised crime.
One Police Inspector is attached to the office of the Superintendent of Police, who is designated as Home Police Inspector. He works as Personal Assistant to the Deputy Superintendent of Police and is employed for supervision of the work in the office and accounts branches, disposing of routine correspondence and miscellaneous work.
The Sub-Inspector of Police is ordinarily the officer in charge of a police station. He is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime in his charge and for seeing that orders and instructions issued by superior officers are carried out and the discipline of the police under him is properly maintained.
Head Constables are subject to the orders of the Sub-Inspector placed over them and of the superior officers of the police force. They are to report to the Sub-Inspector about all crimes committed in their beats, investigate less important cases and also to assist the Sub-Inspector in the investigation and detection of crime. When in charge of particular out-posts or beats of villages, the Head Constables act in all police matters in concern with the heads of the village police. When attached to the police station they hold charge in the absence of the Sub-Inspector and look to all routine work including investigation of crime.
The Constables perform such police duties as they are ordered by the Head Constables and other superior officers for the prevention and detection of crime, maintenance of law and order, apprehension of offenders, escorting and guarding of prisoners, patrolling, beats, controlling traffic, etc.
Appointments of Superintendents of Police are made by promotion of Assistant Superintendents of Police and Deputy Superintendents of Police in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf by the Central Government in consultation with the Public Service Commission. Appointments of Assistant Superintendents of Police are made by the Government of India
on the recommendations of the Union Public Service Commission. Before being posted to regular duties they are trained at
the Central Police Training College, Mount Abu and the State
Government's Central Police Training School, Nasik. The
appointments of the Deputy Superintendents of Police are made by the State Government, 70 per cent by promotion of meritorious officers from the lower ranks of the police force or in exceptional cases by the transfer of meritorious officers in the cadre of the Police Prosecutors and 30 per cent by direct recruitment from candidates recommended by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission. Direct recruits are, on recruitment, attached to the Police Training College, Nasik, normally for a period of one year. After completion of training, they are attached to districts to do the work of an Inspector for a period of two years before their confirmation.
Inspectors of Police are appointed by the Inspector-General of Police. Appointments are, as a rule, made by promotion of Sub-Inspectors, direct appointments being very rare.
Appointments of Head Constables are made by the Deputy Superintendent of Police ordinarily by promotion from among the Constables on the basis of seniority-cum-fitness and the Constables undergo a refreshers course and the direct appointments as Head Constables to the extent of 331/3 per cent of the vacancies that may occur are also made by the Superintendent of Police with the sanction of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police of the Range. Police Constables possessing requisite qualifications are considered for appointment as Head Constables against the prescribed percentage and are given preference provided their record is clean and that they are fit in all respects.
Appointments of Constables are made by the Deputy Superintendent of Police. Men from the district are preferred as they are more likely to have local knowledge and could better understand the language and manner of life of the people. A fair number of men from the scheduled castes and tribes are now coming up for recruitment.
Armed and Unarmed Police.
When Amravati district became part of the bilingual State of
Bombay on November 1, 1956, there was no division of the police force into Armed and Unarmed Police nor were the posts at headquarters graded. With a view to bringing about uniformity in the working of the police stations in the whole State, reorganisation of the police force in the districts of the Vidarbha region was taken up, and the strength of the police force in the region was augmented according to the prescribed " yard stick". Gradation of headquarters into three grades, viz., I Grade, II Grade and III Grade was introduced. Thereafter, Armed and Unarmed Branches of the constabulary were formed.
To the Armed Police are mainly allotted the duties of guarding jails and lock-ups and providing escorts to prisoners and treasure. The Unarmed Police are employed for the prevention and detection of crime. Every recruit of the Armed as well as
Unarmed branch receives his basic training in musketry, drill, elementary
law and police duties. The practical training conforms to the duties attached to the respective branches.
Of the total strength of 1,524 Head Constables and Police Constables, only 82 were illiterate. The percentage of illiterates to the actual strength was 5.31. Illiteracy was mainly confined to those ranks which were enrolled years ago.
The armament of the District Police in 1960 consisted of 487 rifles, 67 revolvers of which 6 were of.455 bore and 61 of.38 bore. Besides these the Home Guards of the district are allotted 206 rifles (.303 bore) and 2 rifles (.22 bore). The armourer looks after the upkeep of the weapons.
There is a tear gas squad composed of 1 Police Sub-Inspector,
2 Head Constables and 8 Police Constables properly organised
and trained. The equipment of the squad consists of 7 gas guns,
3 truncheon pistols, 26 grenade carriers and 16 shell carriers.
The district has a fleet of 13 vehicles, including 2 motor
cycles, jeeps and light vans. One motor vehicle is always stationed at Achalpur for routine and emergency duties.
The district has two systems of police wireless communications. One is called the H. F. (High Frequency) system or long distance communication and has a net-work consisting of two static stations, one each at Amravati and Achalpur for inter-communication with the Range wireless station. The other system is called the V.H.F. (Very High Frequency) or short distance communication with its net-work consisting of one static station located in Kotwali Police Station.
Local crime Branch and Local Intelligence Branch
There are a Local Crime Branch and a Local Intelligence Branch in the district, which work directly under the control of the Deputy Superintendent of Police. The primary function of the Local Crime Branch is to devote sustained attention and efforts to the investigation of important cases and those, in particular, in which the activities of professional criminals extend over more than one police station, and collection, collation and examination of information regarding crime and criminals in the district. A Modus Operandi Bureau is controlled by this branch. This branch is in charge of a Police Inspector. The Local Intelligence Branch, which is in charge of a Police Sub-Inspector, collects intelligence and makes enquiries about matters of political nature.
c. I. D. Unit.
One Police Sub-Inspector of the Intelligence Branch and one of the Service Selection Board belonging to the State Criminal Investigation Department Unit of Nagpur are posted at Amravati and they work under the general control of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Criminal Investigation Department Unit, Nagpur.
There is a Sub-Unit of the Anti-Corruption and Prohibition Intelligence Bureau at Amravati, which consists of the Police Sub-Inspector and his subordinates.
Their main function pertains to eradicating the evil of corrup- tion and bribery and more effective implementation of prohibition,
A company of the State Reserve Police Force which has its
Battalion headquarters at Kamptee, is stationed at Amravati.
A length of 45 miles of Bombay-Nagpur Railway line passes
through the district, Police Station, Badnera being on the main
line. Amravati itself is connected by a 6-mile branch line. The
railways fall within the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of
Police, Central, South-East and Western Railways, with his
headquarters at Nagpur.
Crime, which has progressively decreased from 4,260 in 1956
to 2,364 in 1960 does not present a serious problem in the district, Of the specific charges, cases of house-breaking and theft were common and formed the bulk of the reported crime; murders, dacoities and robberies being infrequent. Sex crimes were reasonably low and did not feature as a problem. The Melghat plateau inhabited by aboriginals, however, is a peace- ful area contributing but little to the general crime of the district.
Total crime for the years from 1956 to 1961 is given below: -
1961 (till 30-6-61)
Crime under prohibition cases had been heavy in the beginning but declined gradually on account of the rigid enforcement of the Bombay Prohibition Act. The figures for the last five years and up to 30th June 1961 are given below. They include offences under the Gambling Act also: -
1961 (till 30-6-61)
The police cases which are sent to the Court are scrutinised
and conducted in Courts by Police Prosecutors who work under Senior Police Prosecutors.
Housing and Hospital.
Already a small proportion of all ranks was residing in rented accommodation as the increase in strength could not keep pace with the construction of quarters. The problem, however, became more acute when the strength was sharply increased after the reorganisation of States. Construction of additional quarters was taken up and at present Government quarters have been provided to 56 officers and 749 men. There is a Police Hospital at the Police Headquarters at Amravati, for the benefit of the police personnel and their families.
Prior to the reorganisations of States, the Police Welfare work
was organised on a small-scale with the help of the Police
Benevolent Fund. The object was to give pecuniary aid to the
indigent widows and to provide a few amenities to the policemen. After the reorganisation, a regular Police Welfare Fund
was started through subscriptions and benefit performances. In
the last five years a sum of Rs. 87.992 was collected from benefit performances. A number of welfare activities are started at the Police Headquarters, Amravati and also at many police stations. Various other facilities such as cheap grain, free medical aid, etc., are provided to the police personnel.
The District. Police are helped in the performance of their watch and ward duties by the village Headman (Police Patil) who is appointed under the Land Revenue Act of the. former Madhya Pradesh State. He is treated not as a subordinate but as a co-adjudicator of the police. The village watch and ward are the Jaglyas and Kamdar Mahars. The Police Patil is entrusted with the duties of informing the police of offences, accidental and suspicious deaths, movements of bad characters, advent of suspicious strangers and gangs, and other incidents in the village. In addition to this, the crop protection societies formed by the village panchayats are gaining in popularity and are doing appreciable work in the district.