Able-bodied,physically fit,young men who had passed their Matriculation(today’s SSC) were selected for admission to Central Police Training School at Bhamburda in 1906.Their training lasted for one year. However,when the school shifted to Nashik in 1909 the tarining programme was increased to one and a half years.A batch consisted of 50-75 cadets. It was after independence, that the first Inspector General of Police, Bombay State, Mr. N.M.KAMTE IP, in 1950 increased the period of training to three years.
Years 1950, saw the implementation of the State Recorganization Committe’s recommendations.The larger bilingual State of Bombay added on the districts of Marathwada and Vidharbha regions.The number of candidates increased manifold and the period of training was shortended to two years.The minimun education qualification for selection was raised to the Intermediate level.It was decided to upgrade the “School” to “College”. In 1962, Central Police Training School was renamed as Police Training College.
This practice continued until 1990,when the Police Training College was upgraded to the status of an Academy and was renamed as Mahrastra Police Academy on 5th feb, 1990. The post of Principal was upgraded to that of Director.Mr. Charan singh Azad IPS, was the first Director of Maharastra Police Academy.
The transformation of the Central Police Training school into a Police Training college and then into an Academy was complete on 5th of feb 1990 in the 84th year of it’s existence.
Reminisence of the First Inspector-General of Police (1947-1955)
The Principal of the Police Training School, when I ted for duty on 18th August 1923, was Mr. I. C. Boyd, a kindly and considerate gentleman and a good teacher,yet his presence could not entirely eradicate certain difficulties, which affected us Indians.
In the early 1920′s, the Civil Services in India recruited a number of British ex-officers who had been demobilized after the recently concluded Great War ;these were relatively senior men in age.Of those at the normal age,the 1923 batch consisted of four Britons.Besides myself, were J. S. Bharucha,R. R. Gharekhan,and U. H. Rana. The British lads were A. E. Caffin, J. G. Maxwell-Gumbleton, C. W. E. U’ren, and C. M. S.Yates.
As in the Indian Civil Service, and so In the Indian Police, Indians still formed a small minority, and we could not help feeling ourselves to be to some extent “on trial”; indeed, two or three Indian officers had recently been removed from service, presumably as “unsatisfactory” or “unreliable.” There was moreover a clear discrimination against us in the matter of the daily P.T.; British ex-Army trainees were automatically exempted from this whereas I, who had acquired considerable experience of P.T. during my military training to say nothing of the Honorary Commission I held in the Indian Territorial Force, was refused exemption. Our day at the P.T.S began at 6.30 with a three-mile run, followed by a course of hurdles, and then some strenuous P.T. The physical strain tired some of my colleagues so much that they could not even keep step while marching. For my part, I was determined to go through without a murmur; I was ready to fall dead on the parade ground rather than utter a complaint. The policy obviously was to toughen us; I approved it.
Tuesdays were Guest Nights,when the cost of drinks was shared by all equally and the proceedings used to be further enlivened by boxing bouts. Some of my colleagues felt that I, who had no experience of the manly art, should be taught to box. The result was that, at the Wednesday morning parades of swollen noses and black eyes, before the Civil Surgeon, no nose was more swollen, no eyes more black, than mine. This sort of thing, I decided, must be stopped. And at last I hiton a plan for stopping it.”
“Since you’ve been so kind as to teach me boxing,” I told my instructor on the next Guest Night, “I would like to repay it by teaching you our Indian wrestling.”
I was not adept at th i s sport, but I knew something of it, and felt confident of being able to teach my “Persecutors” a lesson in more ways than one. I picked on Bert Coffin for a start, and he agreed to wrestle with me. The chap knew nothing about the game, and I quickly threw him and sat on him, where upon I began to hammer him fairly hard. Bert’s fellow Britons started to object to this, but I told them not to interfere.”This is the only way to learn wrestling.” I assured them. “Nobody interfered when you welt. teaching me boxing so painfully, so now you just keep away.” My scheme worked, and from that time there were no mon• boxing lessons for me. Any strain that might have crept into on! mutual relations was relaxed.Part of our daily activities consisted of riding practice which I knew well since my father had given me a pony
when I was thirteen. One day, as I was taking the jump course, I came to the last hurdle and suddenly noticed a ditch five feet long filled with water. Somehow I lost my nerve and began to pull the reins. At once the Principal, who was watching, yelled at me “Give him his head, you bloody fool, damn you!” where upon I slacked rein and made a smooth jump clean over the ditch.However, I felt humiliated at having been shouted at and abused in front of my colleagues, and was determined to get even with the Principal. (This post was now held by Mr.Haslam, who had succeeded Mr. Boyd).
On the following Guest night, I went up to the Principal the Mess, after dinner, and invited him to have a beer with me. We adjourned to the bar, where I drew two mugs of beer, as usual, from the barrel, swallowed one, and poured the contents of the other over the Principal’s head, at the same time challenging him to a fight. My friends, who had been looking on, quickly pulled me away.” Don’t be such a fool, ” they said;” The Prinicipal’s a very good boxer, and all you’d get is a sound thrashing.”
Next morning, the Principal sent for me and wanted to know why I had been so rude to him on the previous night. I apologized, saying, “Sir, I feel ashamed of myself for what I did last night. Please excuse me”. He smiled and said, “That’s all right, Kamte, you’re a good boy. But why were you rude to me and what made you want to fight me? What’s on your mind? Come on, spit it out!”. “Sir “I said, “You were very rude to me, and abused me; that’s why I had a grudge against you and wanted to get my own back”.
“You idiot!” he answered, “If I hadn’t shouted at you when you were pulling your horse, the pair of you would have fallen in the ditch and you might have got killed. In any case, the words I used are never taken as a deadly insult in English conversation; but in case you still think otherwise, I apologise.” So saying, he held out his hand, which I took, and my humiliation was soon forgotten. The incident taught me an important lesson that a policeman must grow a tough hide and never indulge in over-sensitiveness; and years later, when I was I.G.P., I purposely used to shout at my men just in order to teach them to take that sort of thing.
Another lesson I learned was concerned with the practice of ragging. Before coming to the P.T.S I had never heard of the way in which older boys in English school rag the new-corners in order to make them tough. My ignorance did not survive for long, and I myself became a victim. One night, at a late hour when I was asleep, some of my colleagues broke open my door and went off with my cycle. I had been some-what alarmed by the instrusion, and was shocked to see British
Officers apparently stealing a bicycle. Next morning, I called on the Principal and reported the incident. He just laughed and said, “They were ragging you, Kamte. Why not pay them back in their own coin?” He advised me to go to the local Superintendent of Police, Mr.C.S.Martson, lodge a complaint of theft, and tell him whom I suspected, viz, my colleagues. I did this, and as a result, the Inspector of Police, Nasik City, visited the school, made preliminary enquires and took down the statements of the suspected persons. My colleagues were disgusted at my behaviour, vowing that I was “no sport” because I “hadn’t got the guts to take a bit of ragging.” They returned my cycle, and later, when they found I had acted only in fun, they realized that I had been ragging them. After that, the raggers left me in peace.
With my previous experience of military training, I passed the Drill examination in my first term. The Equestrian Test was no problem. I passed both First and Second Law examinations within nine months instead of the permitted twelve months, which was a record for the P.T.S. The only subject in which I failed to pass was Gujarati language, which I had offered (as a Maharashtrian, I was not allowed to offer Marathi, my mother tongue). Thus after nine months I was ready to be posted to a sub-division of a District. No cadet before me had completed the School’s course in so short a time.On the I.G.’s next visit, he asked each of us where we. would like to be posted. When it came to my turn, I said, “Give me the most criminal district you can, Sir”, to which he tersely replied, “Very good. Kaira for you.” Afterwards, while informing me that I was being sent to Kaira, our Principal observed that my reply to the I.G. had shown a want of wisdom because it might have made him think I was trying to be funny.”
Reminiscences at the PTC
“Around ten in the morning on January 10th 1966, I got Down From the train at Nasik railway station. I hired a taxi to go To the Police Training College located at Trimbakeshwar Road. As the taxi started moving towards the city I started becoming more & more conscious of the cold weather I was so engrossed in watching the beautiful sight of the grape gardens on the way that I did not realize that the taxi had entered the College. After entering my name in the register, the constable on duty took me to the hostel. By that time a few young trainees had already reached the hostel. After the roll call we were told that our training would start from the next day, i.e. from the 11th January. On the morning of the 11th, the shocking news of the sudden death of the Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at Tashkent reached us. As a result our training started on the 12th Of January.
On the morning of the 12th at 5:00 a.m. I was awakened by the sound of the bugle. It was frightfully cold when I headed towards the bathroom, and that too for a cold bath. A milk bottle was awaiting me when I came out of the bathroom. I eagerly put it to my mouth and finished the milk in no time. This was my first day of the police training. The spacious ground was surrounded by trees on all sides and was intended for different games and sports. To the right of the ground I could see the Principal’s bungalow with trees all around. There was a tennis court in the front and to the left I could see the old but strong two-storied building of the college with tiled roof. I stood on the ground for a few minutes immersed in thought.The trainees in my batch constituted a talented lot. Each one of them was good at some game or the other. I was good at cricket and football whereas Shashikant Rane was good at hockey. The somewhat obese Shirodkar showed remarkable quickness while playing volleyball. Ghorpade and Sawant were excellent boxers. The aerobatics of the obese Tambe on a bicycle were unbelievable for a person of his physical dimensions. The only Sikh in our batch Prithpal Singh was known as much for his skill as a hockey player as for his witty nature.
The training program at Nasik was arduous and highly disciplined.Hanif, the assistant drill instructor,was a very strict person and any laxity on our part could never have gone unnoticed. In a fortnight’s time our bodies got oriented to hard sustained work because of rigorous training.During the P.T. session we had to run daily for 10 kilometers, on an average.Hanif wouldn’t tolerate even a delay of one minute. Anyone who came even a minute late was subjected to severe punishment such as taking two rounds of the ground while holding the rifle high in both hands or to crawl to the other end of the ground while holding the rifle in one hand. During the course of the parade we were taught to wield lathi and to use the rifle, pistol and sword. Apart from these, martial arts methods of self-defence such as Ju-jitsu, Karate and Judo were also taught during the P.T. as also the technique of Bayonet fighting. We used to get a thrill while walking in step with fellow cadets with heads held high and to the accompaniment of the band. Even today I transplant myself mentally to that period when I whistle the band tunes such as Colonel Bogey, Slow March, Carriappa March etc. Knowledge of various laws is a must for police officers. We were therefore taught Indian Constitution, Indian Penal Code, Criminal procedure Code,Evidence Act, Gambling Act, etc. We were also taught subjects such as Man Management, Public Relations, Human Psychology, Mob Control and Forensic Science.
The two-year training period ended very quickly and the day of the passing out parade was fixed. The preparations for this important day started a month earlier. This parade is a matter of great pride and honour for the trainees. The happiness of the person who is chosen as the parade commander knows no bounds. He is chosen two weeks before the passing out parade. I was one of the two chosen for this single honour, the other being Malwad. Both of us were subjected to rigorous training but I was finally chosen two days before the important function.
The Principal Mr. V. V. Naik preferred me to Malwad because of quality of voice and clarity in pronunciation. During these two days I was treated as a V.I.P. I was asked to avoid oily food and cold drinks so that my throat might not get adversely affected.The Principal’s wife and his daughter Veena ensured the health of my vocal chords by making me drink warm milk with turmeric powder. I do not think that at any other point of time in my life till then, my throat got greater attention. At last that day in November, 1967 arrived, to which we were eagerly looking forward. The parade ground looked like a beautiful bride because of the decoration all around. The ‘Shamiana’ specially erected for the function attracted everyone’s attention.The entire atmosphere was one of a festival. The parade was to begin at 9:00a.m. I was in the full ceremonial uniform for this important occasion. Mr. Majeedullah the I.G.P., who was the chief guest for the function, was to take the salute. About 10 minutes before the arrival of the chief guest boot boys were sent to the Parade ground in order to remove the dust from our boots. If we had bowed down to remove the dust from our boots, it would have resulted in wrinkles to our carefully pressed uniforms and in order to avoid this, the boot boys were sent to the ground. This would give the readers an idea of the meticulous planning that preceded the great event. I felt honored not only because of the fact that I was made the commander of the parade but for yet another reason. I was to have the privilege of using a newly designed and differently shaped sword for the parade. As soon as Mr. Majeedullah arrived at the flag post along with our Principal Mr. V. V. Naik, I issued the command in a loud, clear and effective manner, which drew everyone’s attention to the parade. It was a rare sight to see platoon after platoon marching past the saluting base with dignity and decorum. The newly trained officers were moving out in order to act according to the police department’s motto of ‘Sadrakshanaya Khalanigranaya’. As soon as the parade ended and the chief guest departed, my parade mates literally lifted me on their shoulders. Principal Naik warmly embraced me and congratulated me on my performance.