Over 170-yr-old Kotwali in a shambles

Though the city police has started renovation of the relatively newer Division No 5 police station, the plight of the Kotwali police station has been ignored. Sadly, like other historical buildings in the city, not much history is available about the Kotwali police station building.

An inscription “1834” on its huge entrance door is the only indication that it was built in this year.

In the absence of proper historical evidence, many theories about the building are heard. It is said that the building was actually a stable built by the British to keep their horses . The British had a sizeable Army stationed in the city as Sikh rulers were in possession of the area on the other side of the Sutlej river. In order to keep a large number of horses, the British had built several stables and the building was one of them.

However, during the 1860s the city expanded. With the separating of a police force from the civil administration in the late 19th century, the need to have a police station was felt. The building suited the requirement and was converted into a police station in the 19th century itself.

The Kotwali police station has seen the city taking shape around it. Several freedom fighters of considerable prominence had been jailed here. It had also served as a platform for residents of the city for the redressal of their grievances.

Police sources said they could not renovate the building because of lack of funds. The department had got limited funds and the building of the Division No 5 police station was chosen on a priority basis. Officials said some repair was being carried here and there.

Cops posted at the police station admit that they always have a the fear that the building may collapse on them. They have put up supports on walls and the roof. 

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