Kolkata Police Museum

Kolkata Police Museum
India     West Bengal     Kolkata

Kolkata Police Museum is a testimony to the rich history of policing in Kolkata. The earliest exhibits date back to the days of British India (17th Century), when Kolkata was divided into “Police Chowkis” or “Thanas” under the watchful eyes of “Thanedars” who had few “Paiks” and “Naiks” working under him. As recorded in 1778, there were 31 such Thanedars in Kolkata. However, Kolkata Police was institutionalised on the lines of London Metropolitan Police in 1856 and Samuel Wauchope was appointed as the first Commissioner of Police. The journey of Kolkata Police and the turmoil of the city has been well documented in the museum. The museum primarily showcased arms and ammunition seized during the Indian Freedom Movement in its early days. However, in 2007, the Indian Museum helped with new collections and developed Kolkata Police Museum into a repertoire of the present Police force. Now visitors can get a holistic view of the pre and post independence development of the city’s police force. One of the most prized possessions of the museum are the 64 files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his family members which are available for public viewing in the Reading Room of the museum. Visitors can go through the photo copies of these documents as well as scan them on monitors. The archives contain various important case diaries of Special Branch and Detective Department but permission is required from the higher authority of Kolkata Police to read them. The Outdoor Interpretation Centre of the museum is for children, where they can learn about the role of police in society and few other things like Traffic Control System, Fake Currency Identification, Sound Pollution & Security and Communication System of the police. The Calcutta Police Museum also has a Sales Counter where guests can purchase memorabilia like heritage cards, magazines, books and watches. A Cafeteria name “Coffee Ghar” within its premises also serves refreshments to the visitors. The Kolkata Police museum is located in Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Road (near Manicktala Crossing) Kolkata Police Museum is housed in the erstwhile residence of Raja Rammohan Roy – the founder of Brahma Samaj and the key architect to abolish Sati Pratha from India. His vision for social, religious and educational reforms laid the foundations of modern India. He lived here from 1814 to 1830 before leaving for England. The house was situated on a 15 Bigha plot with three ponds within its boundaries. The main house was two-storeyed and there were outhouses for kitchens, coaches, etc. Here, Raja Rammohan Roy entertained his European friends and held meetings with his associates and collaborators. In the words of Fanny Parks, who attended the party at the house in May 1823, “the house was very handsomely furnished everything in European style, with the exception of the owner.” In 1830, in preparation of his departure for England, Raja Rammohun Roy had this house auctioned through Tulloh & Company. The connection of the Kolkata Police with the house begins in 1874, when the Government rented the premise for relocating the Sukea Street Thana. On 01 April 1918, the Government acquired the property at a price of Rs. 15909. By the year 1928, Sukea Street Thana had been relocated to Amherst Street. From then on till the 1990’s the building accommodated various offices and quarters for Senior Officers. Finally in 1996, the Kolkata Police Museum was inaugurated here. Trivia of Police Museum, Kolkata The museum is housed in the erstwhile residence of Raja Rammohan Roy built in 1814. Some of the most important exhibits of Kolkata Police Museum: 64 files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his family members are restored for public viewing. Antique statue of Lord Vishnu, 9th – 10th century AD recovered by Detective Department. Book Bomb designed to kill D.H. Kingsford, Chief Presidency Magistrate in Calcutta. Manual traffic signal Post used by Calcutta Police in 1930’s The Bomb dropped by the Japanese on Calcutta during World War II Pen Pistol made in Pakistan seized by Detective Department of Calcutta Police A Walking Stick Gun. Three wheeler motorcycle used by the Calcutta Police before independence

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