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History of Delhi Police

THE KOTWALS
Delhi has a long history of policing through the famed institution of the Kotwal. Malikul Umara Faqruddin is said to be the first Kotwal of Delhi. He became the Kotwal at the age of 40 in 1237 A.D. and was also simultaneously appointed as the Naibe-Ghibat (Regent in absence). Because of his integrity and sagacity he had a very long tenure, holding the post through the reigions of three Sultans Balban, Kaikobad and Kaikhusrau. On one occasion when some Turkish nobles had approached him to secure the withdrawal of Balban's order. confiscating their estates, the Kotwal is recorded to have said, "My words will carry no weight if I accept any bribe from you. It is presumed that the Kotwal, or Police Head quarters was then located at Qila Rai Pithora or today's Mehrauli.

Another Kotwal mentioned in history books is Malik Alaul Mulk, who was appointed by Sultan Allauddin Khilji in 1297 AD. Sultan Alauddin Khilji once said of him, "He deserves the Wizarat (Prime Ministership) but I have appointed him only the Kotwal of Delhi on account of' his incapacitating corpulence."

When Emperor Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi, in 1648, he appointed Ghaznafar Khan as the first Kotwal of the new city, bestowing on him also the very important office of Mir-i-Atish (Chief of Artillery).

The institution of Kotwal came to an end with the crushing of the revolt of 1857, the first war of freedom by the British and, interestingly, the last Kotwal of Delhi, appointed just before the eruption of the first war of freedom, was Gangadhar Nehru, father of Pandit Motilal Nehru and grand father of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister .



Book on History and Heritage of Delhi Police

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