A painting of the first kotwal of Delhi — Malikul Umra Faqrudin, a picture of the City’s first policemen, the first FIR filed in 1861 and old-style rifles are some of the fascinating memorabilia showcased at the Delhi Police Museum in Police Lines.
Also on display is the first wireless set of the Delhi Police, which was borrowed by All India Radio (AIR) in 1948, for the live audio transmission of the procession during Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation.
Inaugurated in 2003 and located in Kingsway Camp, the museum is a repository of all things that show how the police force evolved and worked over the last century.
Rajat Bisht, caretaker of the museum, says: “This wireless (set) was imported from
London in 1944. It was first installed at the Kotwali police station — the first control room of the Delhi Police.”
Before the advent of wireless sets, the Delhi Police used Morse code machines. Encrypted messages, during the Second World War, were transmitted using such
FIR for kulfi theft!
The FIR filed on October 18, 1861 at the Subzi Mandi police station, lists the stolen items as a kulfi ice cream, some ladies’ clothes, a hookah and three pots!
There is also a photocopy of the FIR against Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, and another against Nathuram Godse.
Hand-written inspection books of Nangloi police station of 1805 and 1876 inform us cyber-age residents that inspection would often go on for days. “Now, it is wrapped up within three hours,” says Rajat with a smile. All documents on display in the museum are in Urdu as it was the language of official communication.
At the entrance to the museum is a canon of the Mughal period, which we are told, was found at the Red Fort.
“All the documents and photographs were procured by Rajendra Singh Kalkal, who heads the museum. Some of the articles were brought here from Old Police Line,” informs Rajat.
A panel with rare photographs bring history alive.
The pictures show the hanging of ‘revolutionaries’ by the British, the use of red and blue ambassador cars by the police till the ’80s and the historic Nila Gumbad at Nizamuddin that housed the Nizamuddin police station before 1912.
There is also a photograph of Delhi’s first woman sub-inspector Maya Devi Batta, who retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police in 1978. Take a closer look at the display case and you will see a copy of her appointment letter as well!
And don’t miss the chocolate-coloured rifle rack that looks like a work of art, “All rifle racks used by the police during the British period have latches to prevent the theft of rifles by freedom fighters!” Rajat says.