Having been constituted only in 1972, Arunachal Pradesh Police remains one of the youngest police services of the country. There are several historical factors for this delayed constitution of the force. Being an integral arm of the law & order administration in the state, it had to follow the prevailing norms, which in the shape of customary laws, were very rightly, given a position of preeminence. In fact, the whole philosophy of administration in this area, in the words(957) of our first Prime Minister, was summed up as
Prior to the independence of the country, the British had introduced the Assam Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation, 1945, so as to ensure that a vast majority of disputes and cases, both civil and criminal, were adjudicated in accordance with the prevailing traditional codes of the tribal communities. Even though the Indian Penal Code was already in existence to facilitate holding of trials by regular courts whenever it became absolutely necessary, nevertheless, it was well recognized that the conventional legal system was unsuitable for the tribal societies. The regulations recognized the age old authority of village councils, where they existed, also the authority of village headmen and the system of Chieftainship, in so far as they contributed to the continuance of indigenous legal system. According to the Regulation, the ordinary duties of police in respect of crimes were to be discharged by the village authorities, appointed under section 5 of the Regulation of 1945, who were also entrusted with the task of maintaining peace and order within their jurisdiction. The Regulation, however, stated explicitly that the village authorities would not be deemed to be police officers for purposes of section 25 and section 26 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or the section 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898. These statutory village authorities were different from Kebangs, the traditional village councils. A village authority was empowered to impose a fine not exceeding Rs.50/- for any offence that, they were competent to try. With regard to police duties, the village authorities, besides keeping watch on suspicious characters, had the power to apprehend any person suspected of having committed a crime or hand over a person so apprehended to the political officer or an Assistant Political Officer for custody. Provisions were also made for appeals to higher courts of law against the decision of a village authority. Thus, at the basic level of village, the traditional village authorities were left with complete freedom to regulate the social, cultural and legal affairs of the villages. Above the village level, where indigenous political and legal structure was absent, the gap was sought to be filled by the regular administrative apparatus as prevailed in other parts of the country. However, the society being primarily rural, such instances were extremely rare.
In view of the growing problems, Govt. of India sanctioned in October 1967 a skeleton staff for the Civil Police set-up. All the posts, however, could not be filled. Some officers were drawn on an adhoc basis from other forces. Small Police Stations were established at 5 DCs Headquarters and one at Pasihgat (ADC Hqrs). The force functioned under one AIG with no Superintendent of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police, except one DySP who was utilized as DySP (Intelligence) and DySP (Hqrs). In the beginning efforts were made to set up a full fledged Arunachal Pradesh Police by Shri G.C. Singhvi, an IPS officer of Rajasthan cadre (1955), who joined at Shillong in 1969 as the first DIG of Arunachal Pradesh Police. Five more IPS officers in the rank of SP also joined at five district headquarters. Subsequently, all these officers were withdrawn due to practical and administrative difficulties. Later, Shri L.B. Sewa, an IPS officer, originally of Assam-Meghalaya cadre (1958), and later of Uts, shouldered the responsibility of setting up the Arunachal Pradesh Police in the year 1971. He functioned as AIG with his headquarters at Shillong. It was his pioneering efforts which paved the way and created conditions for establishing the force on a firm footing. He can be truly described as the Architect of Arunachal Police. He was later posted as a DIG in Mizoram where he succumbed to injuries in a militant action in 1974. The present GOs Mess at Itanagar is named after him, in view of his invaluable contributions. Under his leadership, the sanctioned staff slowly and steadily started taking position in 1972. Some officers were called on deputation from Assam Police. Some ex-army JCOs were also recruited to impart training to the recruit Constables.
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