Punjab Police Academy & Fort Phillaur Brief History ~ Prior to the enforcement of Police Academy of 1861, the Punjab Police Force known as “Military Police Force” consisted of 8100 men; 5400 being infantry formed into six Battalions and the remaining 2700 cavalry. Punjab, the sword-arm of India, however, needed a superior force for its internal administration. The Police Act of 1861, came into force in Punjab with effect from the 1st January, 1890. Soon there after the Provincial Government gave serious thought to training.
The art of prevention and detection of crime, an essential attribute of a Police Officer was, more or less, left to the school of experience. The contemplated force had, of course, to be rough and tough to match with the turbulent, strong, hardy and proud people of this land. At the same time, it had to be amiable and well acquainted with the knowledge of the law of the land. Thus there arose the need of a Police Training School.
School Established. The police Training School was established in the Phillaur Fort by a Home Department notification dated the 9th September, 1891, with a meager staff under Mr. J.M. Bishop, I.P., Assistant District Superintendent Police. The School started functioning with effect from the 1st January,1892. Thus Punjab was the first state in the country which established such a school. Most of other such training schools were established after the report of the Police Commission, appointed in 1902, had been published.
The Phillaur fort is the principal and outstanding land mark of the school and has a fascinating history behind it. Built on one side of the Grand Trunk Road, it has a fascinating historical back-ground. The town of Phillaur in which this fort is located owes it origin to a Sanghera Jat, Phul, who named it after himself as “Phulnagar”. The Naru Rajput of Mau, a township nearby, had cast covetous eyes on Phillaur and eventually, under their Chief Rae Shahr, they wrested it from the Jats. Rae Rattan Pal, the son of Rae Shahr, liked it so much that he abandoned Mau and settled in Phillaur. The Jats then left the place.
Subsequently, at some period unknown, the Rajputs also deserted it. Nothing is known thereafter until the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1627-1658) when an imperial Sarai was built at Phillaur. Subsequently, the town was occupied by Kattar Sikhs and held until Mahraja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) seized all the Kakar Estates. After the collapse of the Mogul Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent Dewan Mohkam Chand,about the year 1809, to take possession of the Imperial Serai and converted it into a formidable Fort with the help of his French or Italian officers, namely Generals Ventura, Allard, and Avitabile. It was built in reply to the British who had built a small Fort at Ludhiana on the remnants, said to be, of an old Lodhi Fort and to guard the ferry of Phillaur. The British occupied this Fort in 1846 after the Sikhs were defeated in a battle fought a Aliwal. Phillaur, Thereafter, became a Cantonment and Fort remained under the charge of Army authorities till 1890, when it was handed over to Civil authorities and has been used thereafter as a Police Training School.
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