Where history meets law enforcement: Gujarat's heritage police stations
Dholka (Gujarat), May 23 (IANS) Police stations in Gujarat have more than just policing as the structures many of these are housed in are of historical relevance.
One of the police stations near Ahmedabad has a structure built in 1912. Dholka police station is one of the oldest stations in Gujarat. It has heritage documents of police transfers, crime rate, archival pictures, and even furniture dating back to that era. Dholka was under the East India Company administration as early as 1802 AD. It was an important trading post back then.
Dholka Police Inspector Bhavesh Rathod said, "If people request us, we allow them to have a look at this heritage police station. This was one of the oldest Nagarpalikas in India and in fact, Gujarat's first nagarpalika (Municipal council). Apart from archival documents, pictures, and furniture; this police station also has a tope of the British era. Similar to Dholka, even the Pavagadh police station has immense historical relevance. They even have a written diary of Britishers."
Dates on roof tiles that are displayed in the museum indicate the police station's history dated to 1865.
The Dholka police station has documents written in English such as: written document of pre-independent organisation of Ahmedabad district police, bifurcation of Ahmedabad rural district, new district headquarters for Ahmedabad rural district after its separation from Ahmedabad city, crime note of Bhojva police station dated 1917, crime note of Valana village document dated 1920, crime note of Viramgam town in 1951, documents of DySP Dholka from Saijpur Bhogha in 1968 and others.
One of the documents of Dalod Police Station dates 1993 and it states (verbatim), "The village is clearly polarised into Congress. There are no caste affiliations about the parties. There is no friction as such. The personal affiliations are entirely personal as such. The present Sarpanch has been elected on October 29, 1983, it's almost 10 years hence. He has been elected uncontested. This shows the hold of the sarpanch on the village. He is the undisputed master here. He is from the Congress party." Ironically, today, Congress could not secure even the position of principle opposition in Gujarat Assembly.
The document had a concluding line written by Police Officer Keshav Kumar of Ahmedabad Rural (1993), it read: "Crime wise there is not much of a problem. Harijans have no problem here. They have nothing to represent too."
Similar to Dholka, the office of the superintendent of police in Mehsana also dates back to the time of Maharajas. The architecture of the office sets it apart from other police stations. Moreover, it also has a playground and residential quarters, and it is spacious and green. The Mehsana police station has pictures of the ceremonial parade of January 26, 1954, archival pictures of the police headquarters of Mehsana in 1958 and other artifacts of the yester era.