Located at 113 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Road, near Maniktala and occupying a huge area of 2,000 square feet, the Police Museum, inaugurated in 1996, is a testimony to the rich history of policing in the city of Calcutta. Apart from the documents and objects related to the history of Calcutta Police, its collections include write-up and important case stories, along with various items and weapons seized during the freedom struggle of the country.
The heritage building in which the museum is housed has a long history behind it. Surrounded by lush green gardens and constructed around 1814, the building equipped with wooden staircases and Corinthian pillars, once served as the residence of the great Reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of the Brahma Samaj and the harbinger for the abolishment of Sati Pratha, the inhuman Hindu practice of burning widows upon her husband's funeral pyre. To ensure that Lord William Bentinck's Bengal Sati Regulation was not rejected, he sailed to England in 1830, as an ambassador of the Mughal Empire. Before sailing, he auctioned the plot of land, along with the building, through Tulloh and Company, whose auction mart once occupied the site of the present two magnificent heritage buildings of the Central Telegraph Office in Calcutta.
The two-storey building with outhouses, constructed on a 15 bigha (24320.167 sq mt) plot, included three ponds within its boundaries. It was first taken up on rent by the Government in 1874 and used it as the premises of the then Sukea Street Police Station (Thana). Later, the Government acquired the property on 01 April 1918, at a price of 15,909 Rupees. By the year 1928, when Sukea Street PS shifted Amherst Street, it was used to accommodate various offices and quarters for the Senior Government Officers, until 1990s. Finally, it became the address of the Kolkata Police Museum, inaugurated in the building in 1996.
Initially, the museum showcased arms and ammunitions seized by the police during the Indian Freedom Movement in its early days. Later, in 2007, the Indian Museum helped with new collections and developed it into a repertoire of the present Police force. Originally, the museum had three galleries which have been upgraded to eight and divided into different sections for an ideal panoramic view.
The invaluable exhibits of the Police Museum include old guns, bombs, bullets, arms and ammunition preserved in their original condition, even a book bomb made by the revolutionary Hemchandra Das designed to kill DH Kingsford, the Chief Presidency Magistrate of the city. Recovered fragments of the bomb pertaining to the failed attempt are also preserved and exhibited. It also contains many more interesting items like the Bomb dropped by the Japanese on the city during the WW II; a Walking Stick-Gun; a Pen Pistol made in Pakistan and seized by the city police. The other interesting artifacts of the museum include Naxalite manuals, drug samples, a range of tools confiscated from master burglars, police uniforms and badges and much more.
However, one of the most prized possessions of the museum, the bunch of 64 files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his family members, is available for public viewing in the Reading Room of the museum.