(c)  Other Sources  of  Revenue, State and Central

The revenues of India were classified into Indian Provincial and Divided heads until 1920 when, following the introduction of the Montage-Chelmasford Reforms, the divided heads were abolished and a complete separation took place between the Central and Provincial revenues. From that time, two types of revenues, viz. Central and Provincial (now State), have been current in the country.

(i) Other Sources of State Revenue :- The other sources of State revenue, besides the land revenue are : Stamp Duty, Registration Fee, Excise Tax, Urban Immovable Property Tax, Sales Tax, Passengers and Goods Tax, Entertainment Tax, Entertainment Duty, Central Sales Tax,  Electricity Duty and Copying Fee.

Stamp Duty :- The Indian Stamp Act (No. II) of 1899 came into force on 1 July 1899. It was amended by the Punjab Act VIII of 1922.  The second amendment was made by the Indian Stamp (Punjab Second Amendment) Act (No. 34) of 1960.

Stamp revenue (duty) is derived from the sale of non-judicial or revenue stamps.

The judicial or count-fee stamps are sold under the Court Fee Act, 1870. This Act requires the Collector (Deputy Commissioner) to ensure that the documents are properly stamped according to the schedule.

The income realized in the Firozpur District from the sale of judicial or court-fee stamps and non-judicial or revenue stamps during 1972-73 to 1979-80 is as under :

Year               Judicial stamps         Non-Judicial                   Total

                               or                                      or

                           court-fee                 revenue

                             stamps                  stamps

                               Rs.                                         Rs.                             Rs.

 

1972-73         5,01,00,058             12,76,934                     5,13,76,992

1973-74           64,44,876              7,97,408                                       72,42,284

1974-75           88,30,740              7,35,923                                       95,66,663

1975-76           87,75,953              7,81,664                                      95,57,617

 

Year               Judicial stamps         Non-Judicial                   Total

                               or                                      or

                           court-fee                 revenue

                             stamps                  stamps

                               Rs.                         Rs.                                   Rs.

1976-77           90,62,367               9,08,612                   99,70,979

1977-78         2,40,62,276              9,43,957                2,50,06,233

1978-79         1,89,64,985             14,32,631                   2,03,97,616

1979-80         2,04,42,264             14,04,646                   2,18,46,910

 

(Source : Treasury Officer, Firozpur )

                                                Annuxer  289
 

Registration Fee :- Under the Indian registration Act (XVI) of 1908, compulsory registration is required in the case of all documents pertaining to immovable property, and optional registration is provided for other documents.  Documents which fulfil the prescribed requirements and for which the required stamp duty and registration fee are paid are registered. The chief items of receipts collected  by the Registration Department are with respect to the registration of documents, the  making or granting of copies, the searching of registers and the authentication of powers of attorney.  The State Government have exempted or partially exempted the levying of the registration free  with respect to (i) the documents pertaining to societies registered under the Co-operative Societies Act and Land Mortgage Banks, (ii) the mortgage deeds executed by government servants with respect to advances for house-building, (iii) encumbrance certificates issued in connection with the loans under the Agriculturists’ Loans Act.

 

The Inspector-General of Registration, Punjab, is the head of the Registration Department at the State level, with headquarters at Jalandhar. At the district level, the Deputy Commissioner is the Registrar who supervises the registration work in the District. He is assisted by 3 tehsildars as sub-registrars, one in each of the 3 tehsils. Three naib-tehsildars are also assisting the tehsildars in the tehsils. The registration work in Jalalabad, Abohar, Guru Har Sahai and Dharamkot sub-tehsils is done by the naib-tehsildars as joint sub-registrars. The State Government is authorized  to appoint any Cantonment magistrate joint sub-registrar temporarily. The subdivisional officer (civil) in a tehsil is the ex-officio inspector of registration and he undertakes the registration work only when the regular sub-registrar is on leave or away from the headquarters. He also inspects the work of the sub-registrar and of the joint sub-registrar twice a year. The sub-registrar and the  joint sub-registrar do registration work in addition to their own duties  and, thus, get honorarium @ Rs. 50 and Rs. 35 per mensem respectively.

The sub-registrars the documents pertaining to the properties situated within his jurisdiction. The registrar is, however, empowered to  register any document from any tehsil of the District. The registrar hears appeals and applications preferred to him under sections 72 and 73 of the Indian Registration Act (XVI) of 1908 against refusal to register documents by the sub-registrars under him.

The following statement shows the numbers of registered documents, the value of property transferred and receipts in the District, from 1972-73 to 1979-80:

 

Excise Tax :-  For the implementation of the Excise and Taxation Acts, the District is under the control of the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Firozpur, who is assisted by 10 excise and taxation officer, 17 taxation inspectors, 2 district excise inspectors and 8 excise Inspector, besides the staff of other categories. The District falls under the jurisdiction of the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Firozpur Division, Firozpur.

The State and Central Excise Acts enforced in the State are :

The Punjab Excise Act, 1914 : The Punjab Local Option Act, 1923; The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930; The Molasses Control Act, 1948;

The India Power Alcohol  Act, 1948; and The Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties)Act, 1955.

Sales Tax :-  The sales tax is levied under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, which repealed the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1941, on 1 May 1948.

Passengers and Goods Tax :-     This tax has been levied under the Punjab Passengers and Goods Tax Act, 1952, with effect from 1 September 1952, on all fares and freights with respect to passengers carried and goods transported in motor-vehicles in the Punjab. The rate of tax has been enhanced from time to time. Since 6 April 1978, the rate of tax has been 35 per cent of the are and freight. In the same year, the annual rate of tax per truck was Rs. 1,050 in the plains.

 

Entertainment Tax :- The Punjab Entertainments Tax (Cinematography Show) Act, 1954, came into force on 4 May 1954. The tax is levied for every show on the number of occupied seats of a cinema. The Act provides that the tax shall not exceed Rs. 150 per show in any case and shall be charged proportionately for a fraction of 100 seats.

Entertainments Duty :-  The Punjab Entertaiments Duty Act, 1955, repealed the Punjab Entertainments Duty Act, 1936, with effect from 4 November 1955. The rates of duty are changed from time to time.  According to Notification no. S.O.23/P.A.  16/55/53/78, dated 3 May 1978, the rate of entertainments duty, including that on complementary tickets, shall be 125 per cent of the payment for admission to any entertainments to which to persons are ordinarily admitted on payment.

Central Sales Tax :-  The Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, which came into force in January 1957, provides for the levying of tax on sales effected in the course of inter-State trade and commerce. The States have been authorised to administer this tax on behalf of the Government of India. The entire collections are appropriated by the States.

 

Electricity Duty :- The Punjab Electricity (Duty) Act, 1958, was enforced on 1 April 1958. The duty was levied to meet the additional financial burdens undertaken by the State on account of the introduction of free education and provincialization of the  schools of local bodies. The duty is levied on the energy supplied by the Punjab State Electricity Board to a consumer or a licensee and it is collected by the Board along with the bills for the energy supplied.

Copying Fee :-   The copying fee is levied under the Punjab Copying Fees Act, 1936. Copies of orders, etc. are supplied to the public on ordinary and urgent bases, the charges for which are s. 2.25 and 4.25 respectively. Copies on ordinary basis are to be supplied in seven days, whereas those on urgent basis are to be supplied within 24 hours.

The collection from the above mentioned taxes in the Firozpur District during 1972-73 to 1979-80 are shown in the following statement :

 

(ii) Central  Sources of Revenue

Central Excise Duties :- The Assistant Collector, Central Excise, Patiala,m is in charge of the Central Excise Patiala Divisional, Patiala, which comprises the Faridkot, Firozpur, Sangrur, Patiala and Bathinda districts. The Firozpur District is under the supervision of the Superintendent, Central Excise, Moga, who supervises one sector office of the Firozpur District, located at Abohar. The sector office is looked after by the Inspector, Central Excise, Abohar.

The main sources of the central excise duty in the District are: cellulosic spun yarn, non-cellulosic spun yarn, fancy yarn, gold-dealers, etc.

The Acts, under which the duty is collected, are; The Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944; The Produce Cess Act, 1966; The Khadi and other Handloom Industries Development (Additional Excise Duty on Cloth) Act, 1953. The Cotton Fabrics (Additional Excise Duty) Act, 1957, and the Additional duty of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957.

Income Tax :-  It is levied under the Income Tax Act, 1961, which replaced the India Income Tax Act, 1922, on 1 April 1962. This tax is the best possible equitable means of distributing the burden of Government expenditure. Income, above a certain specified level and subject to certain exemptions, is taxed at a progressive rate.  The income tax is levied in accordance with the rates specified in the Finance Act of the relevant year passed by Parliament.

Wealth Tax :-  It is levied under the Wealth Tax Act, 1957. it is chargeable on the net wealth of an individual and a Hindu undivided family.

Gift Tax :-  The tax is levied under the Gift Tax Act, 1958, on all gifts made after the date of the enforcement of the Act (i.e. 1 April 1958), if the total value of the gift (moveable or immovable) exceeds the limit specified by the Finance Act passed by Parliament in a particular year.

Estate Duty :-  The Estate Duty Act, 1953, was enforced on 15 October 1953. The duty is leviable on the states of persons dying after this date. For the levying of the estate duty, the Firozpur District falls under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty, Patiala.

 

Year                     Central               Income        Wealth         Gift          Estate

                          excise            tax                tax                tax                duty

                duties

             Rs.                 Rs.              Rs.                  Rs.               Rs.

 

 

1975-76      6,01,047                --                 --                      --           1,42,000

1976-77      6,73,480          51,06,000     2,20,000            36,000           --

1977-78      19,88,493        76,39,000     2,58,000            44,000     3,28,000

1978-79      57,99,255        84,57,000     6,99,000            38,000     3,12,000

1979-80      99,58,049         87,39,000    4,49,000            50,000     3,75,000

 

(Source : Superintendent, Central Jail Excise Moga; Income Tax Officer, Firozpur and Assistant Controller of Estate Duty, Jalandhar)

 

CHAPTER XII

LAW  AND  ORDER  AND JUSTICE

(a)  Incidence of Crime in District

The Firozpur District present inherently typical feature, which have a rational bearing on the intrinsic assessment and appreciation of the prevailing state of crime. The close proximity of Pakistan affords ample opportunities to the  criminal to the criminal elements to indulge in “hit-and-run” tactics with  impunity. This District, which is notoriously criminal, abounds in party factions, blood feuds and extremely impulsive, violent and revengeful outlook among the rural folk, indicating a complete negation of the spirit of “forgive and forget”.

To some extent, smuggling exists on all land borders thourghout the world. In the beginning, it was considered a normal corollary of the partition of the country. In early stages, smuggling could be tolerated  because it was on a very small scale and was only confined to articles of daily household use. the unscrupulous businessman at a stage was tempted to make profit out of it. he availed himself of the services of those  who could risk their lives in crossing to the other side, by stages, from the  exchange of cloth and other items of minor importance, the racket developed into the smuggling of gold from across the border in exchange for the currency from this side. This illicit trade assumed great dimensions in 1956, when on account of  administrative laxity on the other side of the border, their currency started depreciating in value  and our currency started appreciating. Unscrupulous elements on both sides started exploiting this difference in value, and the foreign gold, which was being smuggled into Pakistan, started being smuggled into India in exchange for out currency, which was held at a premium in the international money market and was being smuggled out of India. There was no doubt that smuggling was going on, but, in 1957, political parties started making capital out of it. In June 1957, a regular campaign was started against smuggling and smugglers.

The District is notorious for illicit distillation and for the smuggling of opium from across the border. Special campaigns are launched by the District police at short intervals to curb the activities  of distillers, boot-leggers and the moonshiners.

The inhabitants of the District are also very fond of keeping arms and, sometimes, even undesirable elements succeed in getting licences. Hunger for illicit arms is also quite common in the District. The District Police recovers illicit weapons, and the frequent screening of licences also helps to keep the law and order situation under control.

The work of the police has been rendered further difficult as a result of certain political changes and the abolition of non-official agencies, such  as honorary  magistrates, zaildars and sufaidposhs. They in the previous regime, strong pillars of administration and the abolition of these agencies deprived the police administration  of an important support in its work in the rural areas. With the abolition of zildars and sufaidposhs, the morale of the lambardars and chowkidars also has gone very low and they no longer either the old status or the confidence  of their co-villagers.  Consequent upon the establishment of the Panchayat Raj in the  Punjab, the sarpanches and panches are expected to play their full part in day-to-day work of the administration and in the maintenance of law and order.

An idea regard the trend of various crimes etc. in the District during 1974 to 1980 may be had from the following table :

 

Number of reported cases relating cases relating to various crimes in the Firozpur District during 1974-80

Year

Head of crime                                           --------------------------------------------------

                                                 1974     1975     1976     1977     1978     1979     1980

 

1.All crimes (class                   906      980      981      1,034      952       752       835

 I to VI)

2. Murders                                        63        61        47           62        59          47         64

 

3. Dacoity                                       1         --          --           --          --           --            --

 

4. robberies                                       3          2           4           3           1            --            4

 

5. Burglaries                            105          110        116     145         117        87         73

 

6. Riots                                     --                 1           3          5             2          1          --

 

7. Thefts                       145         185       141      158          153     107        132

 

8. Cattle-lifting                11             9        10          7            --          4             5

 

9. Traffic in Women                          --           --            --            --           --         --          --

 

10. Cheating                             20             23          21        30           27        17       27

 

11. Offences under            4,338         4,246     4,348     4,719      5,205   5,804   6,571

 

12. Motor-vehicle                  52             59          48         45            59       73       63

(Source : Senior Superintendent of Police,Firozpur)

Murder :-  Murder, a dreadful crime, is the brutal way of quenching one’s thirst for one’s enemy’s blood. Personal enmities, blood feuds, disputes over land and water and sex relations mainly account for the commission of this crime. There are no set motives or circumstances, under the influence of which the criminals resort to this type of crime. It varies with individuals, their education and other environments. Timely preventive action, at times, acts as a useful and healthy safeguard  against this crime. Mostly, this crime results from sudden disputes, domestic troubles and sex relations. In such cases, any kind of vigilance of preventive action will not have any deterrent effect. Uneducated people attach no value to human life and they chop off the heads of one another like fodder at the slightest provocation under the lust for revenge. To  satisfy the human instinct of blood for blood, the aggrieved party resorts  to direct actions and the murders multiply. Once the game is started, its  chain of revengeful actions often continues for decades, despite strict surveillance by the local police. The rural areas of the Firozpur District are predominantly inhabited by Rai Sikhs, Bisnois and jat Sikhs who have no regard for public justice. They, by tradition, get excited over-trifling matters and resort to this heinous crime at the slightest provocation. The fact that Firozpur is a border district provides these criminals with an easy chance to dispose of  the corpses and also offer them a good chance of escape from the clutches of law .

Dacoity :-  When five or persons conjointly commit or attempt to commit a robbery, or when all the persons conjointly committing or attempting to commit a robbery, and the persons present and aiding such commission or attempt, are five or more , every person so  committing, attempting or aiding, is said to commit dacoity. So a dacoity is a robbery committed by five or more persons.  It is a more serious offence than robbery because of the terror caused by the presence of a number of offenders. The preparation to commit dacoity is also an offence. Vigorous patrolling  at dusk by the anti-dacoity staff in the affected areas and the cancellation arms licences of undesirable persons have proved to be greatly effective in bringing the crime under this head to normal.

Rubbery :- Extensive patrolling at dusk and frequent naka bandis in the affected areas and the grant of arms to the public have brought the crime under this head under control.

Burglary :-   There was much fluctuation in the incidence of burglary in the District during 1974-80. The proportion  of untraced burglary cases is no doubt high, but there are certain factors which prove detrimental  to the successful investigation of these cases. It is a common experience in the rural areas and even in cities that when a burglar takes place, the people from the neighbourhood gather on the spot aimlessly as if a tamasha (a game) is being held there. In their anxiety to show lip sympathy to the victims, they obliterate all the possible clues which the culprits may have left at the place of the crime. In some cases, the complainants lay suspicions  on innocent persons on account of their personal enmity or disputes. Vigorous efforts are made to bring the situation under control. Patrolling by the police at dusk, the enforcement of preventive actions under sections 109/110/Cr.P.C, thikri pehra, the rounding up of untraced  bad characters and their thorough interrogation, intelligent investigation and successful prosecutions have kept the incidence of burglary in the District under control.

Rioting :-  Riot is the use of force for violence by an unlaful assembly of five or more persons or by any member thereof in the prosecution of the  common object of that assembly. Personal rivalries and disputes over  property and women are the main causes of riots, generally occurring in rural areas. A monetary submission to impulse at times takes such a  violent turn that even preventive action has no deterrent effect. The lapse of time cool down passions, after which parties patch up their differences. With the result that conviction under this head is poor.

Theft :-  whoever, intending to take dishonestly and movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent and taking it away, is said to commit theft . There was fluctuation in the  incidence of theft in the District during 1974 to 1980. The incidence of  theft ranged between 322 (in 1960)  and 332 (in 1970). Thefts in rural areas o the District are few because, firstly, the village abadis are small  and the inhabitants know each other and, secondly, the rural population is generally well off. The patrolling at dusk and systematic naka bandis  on the strategic points are mainly responsible for keeping this crime under effective control.

Cattle-lifting :-  The incidence of crime under cattle-lifting predominates in the rural areas, when people generally keep their animals in their fields in the rainy season. The villagers generally remain busy in agricultural operations and do not pay proper attention to keep watch over their animals. In daytime, the cattle generally graze in the jungle and the menials, who are deputed to graze them do not take much interest in looking after them because they are paid low wages. The cattle often go astray and cross to the Pakistan territory. Moreover, in the rural areas, it is quite convenient for a cattle thief to drive away the stolen cattle at night without  any fear of detection.

Traffic in Women :-    Although a majority of the cases falling under this head come under the definition of kidnapping or abduction are, in fact, elopements climaxed  by uninhibited love affairs resulting in the lovers flight.

 

Cheating :- Simple-minded people are cheated by the lure of getting  their money doubled or by the false promises of enabling them to buy landed property. The changing of brass into gold, obtaining of fertilizers  by forging the signatures of others, etc. are the methods adopted by  the cheat. So long as the people do not pull themselves out of the  materialistic concept of life, this offence is not expected to vanish altogether because cheats have developed the tendency to  become rich by deceiving simple-minded persons.

Offences under Local and Special Laws :-  The crime under this head comprises cases of public nuisance and those under the Indian Arms Act, 1878; the Punjab Excise Act, 1914; the Opium Act, 1878;  the Public Gambling Act, 1867; the Essential Commodities Act, 1955; the Indian Railways Act, 1890 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

Incidence of Motor Vehicle Accidents: - Besides the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, sections 279, 337, 338 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code, the Punjab Municipal Act 1911, and the Municipal By-laws, the stage Carriages Act XVI of 1861, the Police Act, 1888, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,  XI of 1890, the Punjab Motor Vehicle Taxation Act, 1925, the hackney Carriage Act, 1879, regulate the road traffic.

The prosecutions launched in the District under the various

Acts during 1974 to 1980 are given in the following statement :

 

Prosecutions launched under various Acts in the Firozpur District during    1974-80

Year

Name of the Act                               -------------------------------------------------------

                                                   1974    1975    1976     1977    1978    1979    1980

 

1. Indian Penal Code                  1,897   1,740    1,905     2,095   2,135  1,592   1,616

 

2. Municipal Act and               --              --          --           --          --         --          --

Municipal Bye-laws

3. State Carriage Act       --              --        --           --          --         --          --

 

4. Police Act                                    140         155        --           37       41         76        45

 

5. Prevention of Cru-                   --             --         1            --        --           --        --

elty to animal Act

 

6.Punjab Motor Vehic-

  les Taxation Act                   4,042     6,549    3,758   2,202     935   1,636  3,368

 

7. Hackney Carriage Act      --              --         --             --            --          --          --

(Source : Senior Superintendent of Police, Firozpur)

 

(b)  History and Organization of Police

History of Police

The organization of the Police force in the Punjab in the modern sense of the term start with the advent of the British in this part of the country. The police administration was organized with the appointment  of a separate officer at the district level, viz. the Superintendent of Police. The policy system was reorganized from time to time in accordance with the recommendations of the Police Commission of 1861, the Second Police Commission of  1902, the Punjab Provincial Committee of 1925 (which submitted its report in 1926), the Punjab Police Commission of 1961, etc.

After Independence, the European Officers in the police service left India. They constituted a very large proportion of the superior services and their and their places had to be filled up by the promotions from the ranks. Moreover, Muslims who constituted about two-thirds of the police strength in the united Punjab migrated  to the Punjab (Pakistant). The depleted police force had thus, the perform the gigantic task of combating the unprecedented law-and-order problems which attended the partition of the country and the  mass migration of the members of the communities from each side of the border. Immediate steps were, however, taken to make up the serous deficiency in the police force.

In the context of the geographical location of the Firozpur District on the Indo-Pak border, its strategic importance from the police point of view cannot  be over emphasized. The utmost and unrelated police vigilance is required to be maintained for action against spies, agents, saboteurs and smugglers from across the international border.

Organization  of  Police

For the purpose of police administration, the Firozpur District falls under the charge of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Firozpur Range, Firozpur. The District Police is controlled  by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Firozpur, who is assisted by one superintendent of police, 6 deputy superintendents of police, 10 inspectors, 40 sub-inspectors, 108 assistant sub-inspectors, 327 head constables and 1,582 constables. Besides, the village watchmen and chowkidars are in position in all such villages as do not have any municipal or notified area committees. The thikri pehra, on voluntary basis, is also carried out in the rural areas of the District. This arrangement is of immense help in controlling the crime against persons and property.

The District has always been notorious for the high incidence of crime, both against persons and property. The criminal administration of the District is split up into various police-stations, each under the charge of an officer known as the station house officer, who is ordinarily of the rank of a sub-inspector.

The present strength of the police in the District is given in the following statement :

Police Strength in the Firozpur District as on 31 March 1981

                        Senior   Superin-   Deputy   Inspec-  Sub-   Assis-   Head   Const-

                        Super-   tendents   Super-    tors       Inspe-  tant     Const-  ables

                        Inten-    of Police    inten-                  ctors    Sub-     able     

                        Dent                         of Pol-                              Insp-   

                        Of                             ice                                    ectors 

                        Police                     

Civil Police

Permanent         1            1             4              8          37           88          239     1,305

Temporary       --           --             2              2           --            18            73       149

Armed Police  

Permanent        --           --           ---             --           1              1              7         63            

Temporary      --            --            --              --           --             --             --          --

Mounted Police

Permanent      --            --            --              --           2               1             8          65        

Temporary     --             --           --              --           --              --            --          --

Prosecution Staff

Permanent      --             --          --               --          --              --           --            --         

Temporary     --             --          --               --          --             --            --             --

                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total               1              1        6                10        40            108        327          1,582

                            (Source Senior Superintendent of Police, Firozpur)

 

            The Number of Police-stations and police posts in each tehsil subdivision, as on 31 March 1981, is given below :

Tehsil/Subdivision            Number of village             Police Stations             Police-posts

Firozpur                    470                            1  City-Firozpur           Railway Colony,

                                                                                                            Ferozepur

                                                                        2. Sadar Firozpur

                                                                        3 Cantonment                  Canal Colony

                                                                                    Firozpur

4. Ghall Khurd       

                                                                              5.  Mamdot

            6.Guru Har Sahai   

 

 

Tehsil/Subdivision            Number of village             Police Stations     Police-posts

Zira                                          387                  1. Zira                                City Zira

                                                                        2. Dharmkot                     City Dharmkot

                                                                        3. Makhu             Canalo Colony,

                                                                                                            Makhu

                                                                        4. Mallanwala                  

 

Fazlika                                     315                  1. City Fazilka             City Jalalabad

                                                                        2. Sadar Fazlika            Arniwala

                                                                        3. City Abohar            

                                                                        4. Sadar Abohar  

   5  Khuyan Sarwar

   6.  Jalalabad

                                                 

             

Civil Police :-   Civil police is used for duty at the police-stations. There are 16 police-stations and 7 police-posts in the District. Each police-station  is under the charge of a police officer, known as the station house officer, assisted by one or more assistant sub-inspectors, a head constable, a moharrir and a number of constables, allocated to it. It is the duty of the station house officer to maintain peace in his circle as well as to investigate offences occurring within his jurisdiction.

Punjab Armed Police :-   This force became permanent with effect from 232 November 1948, and was named the ‘Provincial Armed Police’. It is kept in the Reserve Police Lines and is posted for duty whenever and wherever any contingency arises. it performs the escort duty for bringing prisoners from the jail to the courts and taking them back. Armed policemen are also used as guards at the government treasuries. They are also deputed for patrolling and combating dacoits.  In the District, this force consists of 1 Sub-inspector, 1 assistant sub-inspector, 7 head constables and 63 constables.

 

Mounted Police :- This force is kept in the Reserve Police Lines and at different police-stations. It is used to maintain law and order, to patrol roads, to round up dangerous gangs and to disperse crowds. Its training is, in such circumstances, similar to that of the armed police. Under this force, there are 2 subinspectors, I assistant sub-inspector, 8 head constables and 65 constables in the District.

Vigilance Police :-  One Superintendent of Police is in charge of a unit of the vigilance Police, is posted at the District headquarters. He is assisted by 1 deputy superintendent of police, 2 inspectors, 2 sub-inspectros, 1 head constable and 14 constables. The main function of the vigilance staff is to detect corruption by either laying traps against corrupt officers and officials or making equiries into the complaints entrusted to them.

Railway Police :-  Railway police is not allotted to any particular district, but is a part of separate State organization, working under the Assistant Inspector-General, government Railway Police, Punjab, with headquarters at Patiala. The circles of the Railway Police are  formed according to the sections of railways lines on which they control crime committed in railway trains and within the railway premises.

The headquarters of the Government Railway Police, through which the crime on stations in the Firozpur District is controlled, are situated at the Firozpur Cantonment. The staff posted in the District comprises 1 sub-inspector, 1 assistant-sub-inspector, 5 head constables and 24 constables.

Excise Police Staff :-  The staff strength of the Excise Police in District consists of 2 sub-inspectors, 10 head constables and 46 constables. the whole Excise Police staff is on deputation from  the main strength of the Police Department.

Village Police :-   The institution of chowkidari is very old.  Even in the remote  post, every village had one such official, who received a share from each cultivator’s produce as his remuneration.  The chowkidari formed the lowest rung of the police organization, as he supplied information of offence committed in the village to the police.

This system has now gone weak because the people are generally averse to thikri pehra and have an impression that it is the responsibility of the police alone for maintaining law and order. Thus there is very little co-operation from the people in village-patrolling. The Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952, has, however, authorized the panchayats to raise their own voluntary forces for the maintenance of law and order within  their jurisdiction.

 

Trackers :-      The class of professional trackers, known as khoji still continues to exist in the Firozpur District and contributes to the society  and administration the utility of their art of establishing the identify of the criminals from footprints.  These trackers track the hoof marks of stray  and stolen cattle and also track criminals belonging to their neighbouring villages and of a neighbourig district by following the trail of prints left  behind them. When a theft takes places, the trackers are summoned  either by the sufferer or by the police or any other administrative unit to help them to locate the guilty.

The method  of comparison of footprints is mostly based on Locard’s  principle, i.e. when tow things come into contact, they are bound to leave  their impact on each other and exchange certain distinguished characteristics. In this case, certain principal features of the parts of the foot parts of the foot and gait, i.e. the step length, the walking line, the direction line, the angle of steps, the shape, breadth, foot line, etc. are taken  into account for judging whether the person or animal is lame, was carrying weight or not, etc. and  thus, for eventually establishing the identity of the criminals beyond doubt.

Most of the trackers come from Bauria, Rai Sikh, Kamboj, Jat Sikh and Jhiwar communities of the Punjab. Their efforts are rewarded by the Police Department and by the complainants. The trackers also get due recognition under the Punjab Laws Act of 1872, under which, vide section 41, trackers, in carrying on tracks, may call for assistance from any headman or watchmen of the village, to the immediate vicinity of which is punished under section 42 of the Act if he refuses to give such assistance forthwith.

Punjab Home  Guards

The Punjab Home Guards Act was passed in 1948. It was first known as the  Home Defence, Punjab. Later on, it was rechristened as the Punjab Voluntary Corps. Now it is called the Punjab Home Guards.

Every State and Union Territory has its own organized civil defence corps. They are ready to take on any thing from first and fire-fighting to supervising rescue operations and standing in, during trouble to maintain communications. The training period of the Home Guards is 100 hours, stretched over holidays and Sundays and after working  hours. They are  drilled in fire-fighting, life-saving techniques, first aid, ambulance-driving, self-defence and traffic control. Even in times of peace, the Home Guards are not forgotten.  During the natural clamities, such as floods or epidemics, it is the Home Guards, who man the relief operations.

 

The Punjab Home Guards was organized in the District in 1961. the district Commander, Punjab Home Guards, Firozpur, is the head of this organization at the District level to control the urban and rural establishments, composed of 8 urban companies and 10 rural companies, consisting of 110 jawans in every company. The urban boys are functioning in the following urban towns of the District:

     1.        Ferozpur City

2.                  Firozpur  Cantonment

3.                  Fazilka

4.                  Abohar

The  rural companies are organized in the development blocks of the District.

            The District Commander  is assisted by 1 deputy commander, 5 company commanders, 10 platoon commanders, 1 havildar clerk, 6 havildar instructors, besides the other allied class III/IV staff.

(a)        Jails and Lock-ups

Jails in India in the comparatively modern sense may be said to be a creation of the nine teeth century. Long before that, the usual modes  of punishment were fines, confiscation of property, branding, mutilation, banishment, beheading, immuring in dungeons, 0 or  planning death by using wild animals or snakes, Lord Macaulay in 1835 drew the attention of the  Directors of the East India Company to the terrible conditions prevailing in the Indian Jails. A committee was appointed, and its report came out in 1838. Pursuant to its recommendations, the first Inspector-General of Prisons was appointed in Uttar Pradesh in 1844 and the first  Central Prison came into existence in Agra in 1846. The great landmark in the prison administration is the sixth All-India Jail Committee of 1919-20.

            The prison administration in India is a State subject. Rules and regulations vary from one part of the country to another. The present political leaders had been inside jails on several occasions during the British Rule in India. They have seen the sordid sided of prison life and experienced its hardships and humiliation. After independence,  tremendous changes have been affected in the working of the jails and the States seem to vie with one another in introducing jail  reforms.

            There is a Central Jail at Firozpur and a Sub-jail at Fazilka, Besides, there is a lock-up attached to each police station, and it is controlled by the Police Department.

 

Central Jail, Firozpur :-  The Central Jail is situated on the Mall Road near the Punjab Roadways Bus Stand, Firozpur City. It is under the charge of the Superintendent Jail, who is assisted by one deputy superintendents,  one deputy superintendent (factory) 7 assistant superintendents, 3 welfare officers, 2 medical officers, 1  head clerk, assisted by 10 clerks, 2 accountant, 2 storekeepers, 2 dispensers, , 1 teacher, 12 head warders, 98 warders, 1 matron, besides other technical and class IV staff.

            The total admission during the year and the average daily population in the Central Jail, Friozpur during 1975 to 1980 are given in the following table :

                                                  1975         1976      1977     1978            1979            1980

1.  Total admission            during               5,712     6,880      5,248      8,703        7,434       6,383

      the year

2.  Agaverage daily population 1,132.61  1,312.70   1,159.00  1,080.00  963.53    879.31

                                                (Source Superintendent, Central Jail, Firozpur)

The maximum daily population of the prisoners in the Central Jail, Firozpur, during 1980 was 1,225.

            The number of convicted prisoners, released on different grounds, during 1975 to 1980 is given in the following table :

Year                              Number of  prisoners

1974                                                                                                  876

1974                    864

1975                    712

1976                    724

1977                    812

1978                   520

(Source: Superintendent, Central Jail, Ferozepur)

 

 

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