Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cubbon Park police thana is 100 yrs old

Cubbon Park police thana is 100 yrs old

A guard room, set up in 1910, was converted into the police station during the freedom struggle

Shwetha S. Bangalore



But for the signboard that identifies the building as a police station, this decrepit structure would seldom attract the attention of busybodies in the city. Though the building may be physically dwarfed by other swanky structures that have come up in recent times, they cannot claim the historical richness that only the tile-roofed Cubbon Park police station can boast of.
However, neither the building nor its police personnel are doing any boasting. As the station enters its 100th year, the police department is yet to chalk out any celebrations.
The guard room was set up in 1910 to watch over the statue of Queen Victoria, the head of an empire where the sun once never set. The guard room gradually gained the status of a full-fledged police station as Indian freedom fighters intensified their non-violent struggle against the British. About 30% of the city was then under the jurisdiction of this police station.
The Cubbon Park station became a part of the Bangalore City Police (BCP) in 1963, when it was first formed, with C Chandy as the commissioner.
Records pertaining to the police station located on the periphery of the Cubbon Park – also know as Sri Chamarajendra Park – could not be immediately accessed. Senior police officers expressed ignorance over the early days of this century-old police station.
"Unfortunately, we do not have the complete history of the Cubbon Park police station," said G Ramesh, deputy commissioner of police (central), adding, "The strongest reason for setting up the police station then could have been the freedom struggle."
Ramesh's explanation seems plausible enough. The station was set up four years after "Aurobindo Ghose interpreted Swaraj differently in his influential English-language newspaper Bande Mataram." (Peter Heehs; The Historian, Vol. 55, 1993)
Additionally, the station was established during the second phase (between 1910 and 1921) of political prisoners being sent to the Andamans. "In 1911, (Vinayak Damodar) Savarkar was arrested (in the Nashik conspiracy case) and deported to the Andamans. But leaders like Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose led the freedom movement in which commoners actively participated. During that time, the city regularly witnessed protests against the British," Ramesh added.
Though the station infrastructure is yet to be modernised, the Cubbon Park police can boast of relatively low crime rate in its jurisdictional area, which has an estimated floating population of 35,000 people.

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