By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, Jan 6 (IANS) The policing in the several centuries of princely rule in Tripura and its gradual transformation besides the sacrifice of the police martyrs during the decades of terrorism would be showcased at a giant permanent gallery, first of its kind in the northeastern region.
The northeastern state of Tripura, bordering Bangladesh, Assam and Mizoram, came under the control of the Indian government on October 15, 1949 following a merger agreement was signed between regent Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi and the Indian Governor General after the end of the 1,355-year-rule by 184 kings.
“Since the princely rule, policing in Tripura has a long and shining history. Many of our colleagues have sacrificed their lives while fighting the decades-old terrorism in Tripura,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Arindam Nath, who is looking after the setting up of the first ever police gallery, said.
While talking to IANS, Nath, an IPS officer, said that along with the pace of success, the Tripura police and its elite force — Tripura State Rifles (TSR) — bidding a farewell to its old weaponry and its obsolete infrastructure, the state’s law enforcing agency now a modern force with qualified manpower.
“All the transformation of policing in Tripura, sacrifice of the policemen and their stupendous feat would be displayed in various forms at a permanent gallery inside the Ujjayanta Palace State Museum.”
The northeast India’s biggest museum was set up in the Ujjayanta Palace in 2013 showcasing the traditional life, culture, history, diverse ethnic characters of the northeastern region largely Tripura.
Built in 1901 by then king Maharaja Radhakishore Manikya Bahadur, the huge castle Ujjayanta Palace, the erstwhile royal abode of Tripura’s Manikya dynasty, had housed the Tripura assembly before setting up of the smart museum.
Nath, who himself wrote many books on numerous subjects, said: “With startling success of TSR in taming the decades-old terrorism, the Tripura police in 2012 received “President’s Colours”, till that time the fourth police force in India received the highest honour after Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
“Through “Community Policing”, a 24×7 platform for liasion between police and public, co-operation and mutual understanding between the two being enhanced and improved the service delivery of Tripura police in their crime control initiatives. Each police station area had been divided into several “Police Beats” consisting of a logical number of village panchayats and municipal wards by the officer in charge of the police station in close coordination with immediate senior level officials based on the crime pattern in the police station area.
Besides providing security during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the India Reserve (IR) battalions of TSR had earlier performed election duties in more than 16 states including Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Jharkhand, Haryana and to the northeastern states, to provide security during the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Trained in counter-insurgency operations, the TSR was raised in March 1984 to deal with the terrorism.
Seventy-five per cent of its personnel are from Tripura, while the remaining are from across the country. The TSR has 12 battalions, of which nine are IR battalions. The Union Home Ministry has recently sanctioned two more IR battalions of TSR and the Tripura government has started the process to recruit personnel for the two fresh TSR battalions sanctioned.
“The IR battalions can be posted anywhere in the country as and when the Union Home Ministry asks the concerned state government,” a senior TSR commandant said.
The TSR has demonstrated excellent performance in Tripura in taming the four-decade-old terrorism in the northeastern state.Historian and writer Pannalal Roy, who wrote many books on royal history of Tripura, said that since the regime of king Birchandra Manikya Bahadur (1862 to 1896), the police and military force had given an initial shape.
“When the Biritish domination and supremacy started on the erstwhile kings in 1761, the kings had to take permission from the British ruler to purchase or to collect even a rifle. However, during the governance of Tripura’s last king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur (1923-1947), the police and military force turned into an organised force,” Roy told IANS.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at [email protected])