From dreaded criminal Phoolan Devi’s gold bangles and wooden bed, which was recovered after her murder in 2001 (still kept at the Parliament Street Police Station), to a wine recovered in 1968(kept at Daryaganj police station); Delhi police stations have the weirdest of cases and dusty piles of FIRs.
The first FIR (First Information Report) was registered against men for theft of oil which was worth Rs 7, at Sadar Bazaar Police Station. Delhi’s oldest police stations keep case properties which indeed makes them distinguished and unique across the national capital.
Following is the list of Delhi’s oldest police stations and some of their most intriguing case properties as well as FIRs.
Mehrauli Police Station
Set up in 1861, the Mehrauli Police Station, which falls under the southern district, registered its maiden FIR on November 2, 1861.
According to a police officer, a case was registered by a complainant identified as Ganeshi Lal after three of his buffaloes were reportedly stolen. Although the case was solved and case property pertaining to the case was consequentially disposed of during that time, the “buffalo theft case” is the first case in which a formal FIR was registered by Delhi Police back then.
As per a survey carried out by the Delhi Police, the police station is spread across 1000 square yards and looks after a population of eight lakh (urbanised as well as rural). While the jurisdiction comprises of posh farmhouses, it is interesting to note that the police station is situated in the midst of a busy market.
According to one of the police officers, the three-storey building is considered ‘heritage’. Apart from the “buffalo theft case”, it also houses an FIR about a country made pistol and four cartridges, considered to be one of the oldest case properties which were recovered by the police back in 1965.
However, since the FIRs, back then, were recorded in Urdu or Farsi, it is hard to decode who all were arrested in connection with the oldest case property. The station is manned by two inspectors, 15 sub-inspectors, 11 assistant sub-inspectors, 36 head constables and 110 constables.
Parliament Street Police Station
Formally set up in 1913, the Parliament Street Police Station functioned as Raisina Hill before it was formally established. Popularly known to be a “political” police station, situated in Lutyen’s Delhi, is located metres away from Jantar Mantar.
From Bhagat Singh’s detention in the cell to Congress president and vice president-Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s detention (for protesting against the Modi government), this thana houses one of the most interesting case properties across the city. According to the Station House Officer (SHO), Inspector Ashok Kumar, gold bangles and a bed – that belonged to the Bandit Queen – are one of the oldest case properties stored in their malkhana (a room inside the police station where case property or evidence pertaining to a case are kept to be shown in a court of law).
The SHO further said that the first FIR was lodged on December 24, 1913, where a case of theft of warm clothes such as an overcoat, a pair of trousers, and a pair of socks were registered by a complainant identified as Zuman Bela. According to the police, that FIR was written in a mix of languages (Farsi, Urdu and Arabic).
The police station is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI); which means that no renovation or construction can be done without prior permission of the concerned authorities. The station is manned by three inspectors, 18 sub-inspectors, 20 assistant sub-inspectors, 22 head constables and 78 constables.
Sadar Bazaar Police Station
Established in 1861, it is one of the oldest police stations set up in Sadar Bazaar, which falls under the North District. The station recorded its maiden FIR on December 31, 1861.
This heritage Police station is maintained by INTACH. On a small wall like structure, the station is described beautifully, “This triple-storeyed building built in 1861, has a majestic facade. It is entered through an elevated gateway with high circular columns flanking the arched opening. The entrance gate leads to a rectangular courtyard. The ground floor works as an office of the police station and other floors are used as barracks.”
According to a police officer, as per the content of the FIR, written in Urdu, a man (identified as Dallu Mali) filed a case regarding the theft of oil worth Rs 7 against two vagabonds identified as Ram Dass and Laxman Dass. On entering the station premises and you will see that particular FIR framed and placed on one of the walls in the SHO’s room.
However, the oldest case property is claimed to be of that illicit liquor which was seized in 1962. According to sources, the liquor was seized from a street vendor after he was found selling it on the streets of Sadar Bazaar. “The ‘grand’ heritage police station is manned by three inspectors,
11 sub-inspectors, four assistant sub-inspectors, 31 head constables, 90 constables and three commandos who are equivalent to the constable rank”, said a police officer.
Sabzi Mandi Police station
Set up in 1861, the Sabzi Mandi Police Station is one of the five oldest police stations. The station’s maiden FIR was registered on October 18, 1861. According to a police officer, the first FIR was registered by a man named Maeeudin against a burglary of articles worth 45 aanas (Rs 2.81 at that time). The valuables stolen were a hookah, a bowl, a kulfi and three cooking utensils. Situated a few meters away from Malkaganj, Sabzi Mandi police station is located next to a busy market which sells grocery, utensils etc. The police station is manned by three inspectors, eight sub-inspectors, eight assistant sub-inspectors, 32 head constables and 15 constables.
Daryaganj Police Station
On entering Daryaganj Police Station, you will be welcomed by a Santri (a guard) who takes care of the heritage police station round the clock. Talking about one of the interesting facts of this police station, a police official revealed that one of the oldest case properties which were stored in the malkhana was a wine which was seized in 1968.
However, according to a senior official, the oldest case property, wine recovered had to be transferred to the centralised district malkhana. Talking about the wine, the police officer further said, “those were pouches of wine. In those days, cheap wine used to come in pouches. Since the police station was situated in Old Delhi, the FIR too was written in Urdu”.
Spread over an area of five sq kms, the oldest police station falls under the Central district. Covering a population of over five lakh people, the area is inhabited by 60 per cent Muslims and 39 per cent Hindus. MCD Parking, Rajghat, Delhi Stock Exchange and Delhi Jal Board Office, the police station is endowed to protect the above-mentioned properties apart from 15 other vital installations.
The building was formally inaugurated in1930, however, the police station registered its maiden FIR in the year 1913. With a total strength of three inspectors, nine sub-inspectors, eight assistant sub-inspectors, 22 head-constables and around 110 constables, the police station covers five divisions which are further divided into ten beats.
"The FIR about the wine that was seized in 1968 was filed in Urdu. That wine was found in pouches, as in those days, cheap wine used to come in pouches - Police officer, Daryaganj police station