There is no evidence of there being a regular police force in the state of Assam till the British
There is no evidence of there being a regular police force in the state of Assam till the British took over after the Yandabu treaty of 1826. At the fag end of the Ahom rule and during the reign of Kamaleswar Singha (1795 -1811), an armed force on the British model was raised to serve the dual functions of maintenance of law and order and border defence. It was, however, not a regular and fully organised police force in the real sense of the term. After 1862, the British deployed regular troops in several parts of Assam to consolidate its occupation and a police establishment consisting of one Darogah, one Jamadhar and a number of constables was maintained at each district headquarters.The most important development in this process was the raising of the “Cachar Levy” in 1835 by the Civil Service Officer, in-charge of Nowgong district, Mr. Grange, to guard new settlements and tea estates. It consisted of 750 officers and men of different ranks, viz., Inspectors, Head Constables and Constables. Three years later, a similar body, called “Jorhat Militia”, was formed to protect the border areas against frequent border transgressions. It was also known as the “Shan” militia, as the recruits were mostly from the Shan community. Eventually it was merged with the “Cachar Levy”, which was subsequently renamed as “Frontier Police” in 1883 and then as “Assam Military Police” in 1891 and then again as “Assam Rifles” in 1920. The duties of the levy included the guarding of the Eastern Frontier of Assam from the Brahmaputra River to Cachar. The levy was a force of a semi-military nature. The men were poorly paid and the duties were arduous and often involving fighting. It is important to note that at the initial stage most of the recruits were from Bengal, as the local Assamese were not interested in joining the low-paid police service.
It is relevant to note that with the growth and development of the police administration in the post-colonial era, a number of new branches were established to meet the increasing demands of law and order and also of a peculiar situation obtained in the state, such as the large-scale infiltration of the foreign nationals from across the border causing a serious imbalance in the demographic structure of the state and threatening national security. Some of these newly created branches are:
1. Bureau of Investigation (Economic Offences).
2. Special Branch.
3. Criminal Investigation Deptt.
4. Assam Police Border Organisation.
5. Assam Police Radio Organisation.
6. Assam River Police Organisation.
7. State Fire Service Organisation.
8. All Women Police Station.
9. Establishment of Forensic Science Laboratory.
The Assam Police has grown from strength to strength during the last two decade. In 1980 it had a force of 40,290 and at the end of the 20th century its numerical strength stands at 60,721.