Agartala, Dec 27 (IANS): Tripura Police, a force that has earned distinction for battling four decades of terrorism, will add another feather to its cap next month when they are conferred the President's Colours -- the fourth police force to receive the honour.
State's Director General of Police Sanjay Sinha told IANS: "Vice President Hamid Ansari will confer the President's Colours at a ceremonial function here Jan 12". The ceremony will be held at the Arundhutinagar parade ground on the outskirts of this State capital.
Another senior police officer said Tripura Police, who trace their history to over 600 years back, will be the first police force in eastern India to be conferred the President's Colours in recognition of their outstanding service. According to the officer, who refused to be named, police forces of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have been accorded this distinction in the past.
President Pratibha Patil had in April this year approved the union home ministry's proposal to confer the President's Colours to Tripura Police. But due to her busy schedule, she could not come here and so nominated the vice president to confer the honour, he added.
The officer said the State police's most elite unit, the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), has earned kudos from the prime minister and many state governments, besides various central paramilitary forces, for successfully stamping out terrorism. The TSR has also discharged election-related duties in many states, besides providing security at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October last year.
According to police records, insurgency in Tripura was at its peak in 2000, when a total of 453 civilians and 61 security personnel were killed by various separatist outfits.
With increased policing and mobilised political will, in 2009 only eight civilians and a security man were killed. Since last year, only one civilian has been killed by separatist guerrillas.
With the motto 'Seva, Veerta and Bandhuta' (service, courage and friendship), Tripura Police also recently introduced a satellite-based system to track the movement of militants and criminals, apart from launching a method to register first information reports (FIRs) through SMSes.
According to an official document, Tripura's police force, one of India's oldest, was constituted during princely rule in 1325. "Raja Ratna Manikya (1325-1350) was considered to be the first king of Tripura who brought considerable reforms in the administration as well as in the indigenous police system in the line of Muslim administrative system of Bengal during his regime," the document says.
At the end of several hundred years of rule by 184 kings, on Oct 15, 1949, the erstwhile princely State came under the control of the Indian government, according to a merger agreement signed between Kanchan Prabha Devi, the regent maharani, and C. Rajagopalachari, the then governor general.
During British rule, the princely state of Tripura extended up to what was called 'Chakla Roshanabad', comprising Comilla, Brahman Baria districts in entirety and parts of Habiganj, Sylhet and Noakhali districts that are now in Bangladesh.
At that time, there were the 'binidias', a type of police force under the direct control of the king. "They acted as conduits to inform the tribal chiefs about the 'firmans' (orders) of the king and were empowered to arrest any person for defying the king's orders," writer and historian Panna Lal Roy told IANS.