If you have ever wondered where the famous revolutionary Raja Ram Mohan Roy lived and what happened to his residence post his death? Then be rest assured about one thing that it certainly wasn’t demolished and does exist till this day. Located at 113, Acharaya Prafulla Chandra Road, the late revolutionary’s house is used as the Kolkata Police Museum. When Raja Ram Mohan Roy decided to leave to England, he auctioned the house to Tulloh & Company in 1830. The Kolkata Police rented the premise in 1874 for relocating the Sukea Street Thana.
The Kolkata Police Museum preserves the rich history of police and policing in Kolkata. It was established in the year 1996 on the 31st of August. At the time it was mainly used to showcase Arms and Ammunitions that were seized during the revolutionary movement. It was only under the guidance of the Indian Museum that the Police Museum was renovated in 2007. They made the necessary changes in order to give the public a holistic idea of police force.
The earliest exhibit in the museum dates back to the 17th century British Era when they were called Police Chowkis or Thanas under the watchful eyes of the Thanedars. As per a record of 1778, there were 31 Thanedars in Kolkata. The turmoil and the journey of the Kolkata Police have been well documented and kept on display at the museum. The most prized possession at the museum which is available for public viewing is the 64 files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his family. The museum has an option for visitors to take photocopies and scan the documents on the monitor.
The Museum maintains archives that contain important case diaries of the special branch and detective department; it also has books mainly about the freedom movement and history of Kolkata. But in order to view or read these files, special permission is required from the higher authority of Kolkata Police.
They have an outdoor interpretation system for the children. They give children tours and help them learn about the police in society. They also have sales counters where one can purchase cards, magazines, watches and books. If hungry you can also visit the cafeteria for a quick snack and is called “Coffee Ghar”.
Thought the idea of visiting a police museum isn’t very tempting and appealing, it is worth a visit as it is a hidden gem ignored by all who tend to judge the book by its cover. It is open on all days of the week except on Monday from 11 am to 5 pm.