Law enforcement in India

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Maharashtra Police personnel keeping a vigil during a public protest, 2012

Law enforcement in India is performed by numerous law enforcement agencies. Like many federal nations, the nature of the Constitution of India mandates law and order as a subject of the state, therefore the bulk of the policing lies with the respective states and territories of India.

At the federal level, the many agencies are part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and support the states in their duties. Larger cities also operate police commissionerates, under respective state police. All senior police officers in the state police forces, as well as those in the federal agencies, are members of the Indian Police Service (IPS).

Central agencies

The central agencies are controlled by the central Government of India. The majority of federal law enforcement agencies are controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The head of each of the federal law enforcement agencies is always an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The constitution assigns responsibility for maintaining law and order to the states and territories, and almost all routine policing—including apprehension of criminals—is carried out by state-level police forces. The constitution also permits the central government to participate in police operations and organisation by authorising the creation of Indian Police Service.

An exhibit at the National Police Memorial and Museum in New Delhi. Visible are representations of various law enforcement agencies such as the Railway Protection Force, Rapid Action Force, National Security Guard, Intelligence Bureau.

Central police forces can assist the state's police force, but only if so requested by the state governments. In practice, the central government has largely observed these limits. During the Emergency of 1975-77, the constitution was amended (effective 1 February 1976) to permit the central government to dispatch and deploy its Central Armed Police forces without regard to the wishes of the states. This action proved unpopular, and the use of the Central Police Forces was controversial. After the Emergency was lifted, the constitution was amended in December 1978 to make deployment of central Police forces once again dependent on the consent of the state government.

Ministry of Home Affairs

The principal national-level organisation concerned with law enforcement is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which supervises a large number of government functions and agencies operated and administered by the central government. The ministry is concerned with all matters pertaining to the maintenance of public peace and order, the staffing and administration of the public services, the delineation of internal boundaries, and the administration of union territories.

In addition of being the cadre controlling authority of the IPS, the Ministry of Home Affairs maintains several agencies and organisations dealing with police and security. Police in the union territories comes directly under MHA.

The Minister of Home Affairs is the cabinet minister responsible for Ministry of Home Affairs, whereas the Home Secretary, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, acts as the administrative head of Ministry of Home Affairs.

Central Armed Police Forces

Border Security Force

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for policing India's land borders during peacetime and preventing trans-border crimes. It is a central police force operating under the MHA. It performs a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to counter-naxal operations.

Women personnel of Border Security Force

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 demonstrated the inadequacies of the then existing border management system and led to the formation of the Border Security Force as a unified central armed police force with the specific mandate of guarding India's international boundary with Pakistan. The BSF's policing capabilities were used in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 against the Pakistani Armed Forces in areas which were least threatened. During wartime or upon orders from the central government BSF operates under the command of the Indian Army. BSF troops took part in the Battle of Longewala in 1971 in this capacity. After the 1971 war which led to the creation of Bangladesh, the responsibility for policing the border with Bangladesh was also assigned to Border Security Force.

Although originally charged with guarding India's external boundaries, the BSF has more recently been given the task of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. When the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir broke out in 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir state police and the thinly-deployed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) needed extra force to cope with the spiralling violence, the Indian government deployed the BSF to Jammu and Kashmir to combat Kashmiri militants.

BSF operates a Tear-Smoke Unit situated at BSF Academy at Takenpur, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh which supplies tear gas and smoke shells for riot prevention to all of the state police forces. BSF operates Dog Squads and runs the National Dog Training and Research Centre. BSF is one of several Indian police forces which has its own Air and Water wings. It provides helicopter, dog and other support services to the state police.

Central Industrial Security Force

The primary task of CISF is providing industrial security.[1][better source needed] The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is used to guard industrial installations around the country owned by the Central government as well as securing seaports and airports. CISF also provides security to certain NGOs. They provide security for atomic power plants, space installations, mints, oil fields and refineries, major ports, heavy engineering plants, steel plants, barrages, fertilizer units, airports, hydroelectric/thermal power plants and other installations partially or wholly run by the government.[2][better source needed]

Central Reserve Police Force

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is one of the largest Central Police organisations in the world.[citation needed] Its main objective is to assist and help states and union territories' law enforcement agencies in maintaining law and order and to contain insurgency. It is also deployed as anti-terrorist unit in various regions. It is even operating abroad as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions. It performs a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-naxal operations.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is one of the five main Central Armed Police Forces, responsible for security along the Indo-Tibetan Border, covering 2115 km. The ITBP personnel are trained in the fields of law and order, military tactics, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and internal security

ITBP is an elite and agile force with a strength of about 90,000 personnel. It is involved in war-time and peace-time duties at the border and the surrounding areas.

National Security Guards

The National Security Guards (NSG) is a commando unit originally created for counter-terrorism and hostage rescue missions. Raised in 1986, it is popularly known as the "Black Cats" for the uniform worn by its operators. Like most military and elite security units in India, it is media-shy and the general Indian public is largely unaware of its capabilities and operational details.

The NSG draws its core members from the Indian Army and the balance support staff from various central police units. It is India's premier counter-terror outfit and is typically deployed in situations that would be beyond the capabilities of regular police units. An NSG team with a dedicated transport aircraft is always stationed at Palam airport in New Delhi, ready to deploy in 30 minutes. The NSG has also been increasingly tasked with protection of VIPs. This role has expanded in recent years, as several politicians have come to view NSG protection as a status symbol. This has caused some concern among senior NSG officers and Home Ministry officials.[citation needed]

Special Protection Group

The Special Protection Group (SPG) is the executive protection agency of the Government of India. It is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister of India, and his/her immediate families. The force was established in 1985 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It provides the security 24 by 7 all over India to Prime Minister including ex prime Ministers and their Family Members at any location across India.

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

The Sashastra Seema Bal, formed in the year 1963, is one of the five main Central Armed Police Forces, deployed at the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. SSB is a dedicated Central Armed Police Force having more than 82,000 personnel. The SSB personnel are trained in the fields of law and order, military tactics, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and internal security. SSB personnel also serve in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Special Protection Group (SPG), National Security Guards(NSG) etc. on deputations. The officers start from the level of an assistant commandant (A.C), equivalent to the deputy superintendent of police (Dy.SP) in a state and retire at the rank of inspector general(IG).

Central investigation and intelligence institutions

Central Bureau of Investigation

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's premier investigative agency, responsible for a wide variety of criminal and national security matters. It is often cited to have been established from The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. However it must be noted that it was formed not by the Delhi state government but by the Central Government (Home Ministry) which controls the police in Delhi. The CBI thus, was formed by a mere resolution by the Central government than by legislation. This led to a case whereby the constitutionality of this government agency was questioned in the Narendra Kumar vs Union of India case in the High Court of Gauhati, Assam because the matter of all areas of policing (arrests, searches, etc.) is exclusive to state governments whereas the CBI was formed by the Central government with all the areas of policing when such powers regarding policing, are not given to the Central Government. The Gauhati High Court ruled that despite the lack of legislation, the CBI is a formal and authorized agency of the Central government to carry out policing all across the nation. The case was appealed to The Supreme Court of India which also stayed the High Court order in light of the fact that not only does India need a Central Police Force for policing for better integration in law and order but also the fact that the CBI had helped to carry out several pending cases and led to successes in investigations regarding infamous events such as the Anti-Sikh riots, the 2G spectrum scam, etc.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is controlled by the Department of Personnel and Training in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions of the Government of India usually headed by the prime minister as the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. It is India's official Interpol unit. The CBI draws its officers from the IPS and IRS officers around the country. It is responsible for investigation into various crimes and national security matters. The agency specializes in investigating crimes involving high ranking government officials and politicians and in some instances, criminal cases that don't necessarily involve politicians or high-ranking officials, have been referred to the agency for investigation because of media and public pressure because of incompetency from the local police investigations.

Indian Income-tax Department

Helicopters of Directorate of Income tax (Criminal Investigation) are supplied by the Indian Air Force.

The Indian Income-tax Department is India's premier financial agency, responsible for a wide variety of financial and fiscal matters.The Tax department is controlled by the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance of the Union Government headed by a Union Minister who reports directly to the Prime Minister. The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. On one hand, CBDT provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India, at the same time it is also responsible for administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department. The Central Board of Direct Taxes is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. The officials of the Board in their ex-officio capacity also function as a Division of the Ministry dealing with matters relating to levy and collection of direct taxes and matters of tax evasion and revenue intelligence. It is India's official FATF unit. The Income tax Department draws its officers from the Indian Revenue Service officers around the country. It is responsible for investigation into various economic crimes and tax evasion.The special agents and agents are able to carry firearms when they are posted in the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in the I-T department.

The DCI is headed by the Director General of Intelligence (Income Tax) which was created to tackle the menace of black money with cross-border ramifications.The revamp is aimed at launching 'un-intrusive' investigations against "persons and transactions suspected to be involved in criminal activities having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, that pose a threat to national security and are punishable under the direct tax laws."

The commissioners of the intelligence directorate of I-T who are posted in cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow will also take up criminal investigation work under the DCI. The intelligence wing of the I-T department has the Central Information Branch (CIB) under it, which is a repository of classified and exhaustive data on taxpayers' financial transactions.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is an intelligence-based organisation responsible for the co-ordination of India's anti-smuggling efforts. Officers in this organisation are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service (I.R.S.) and the Group 'B' gazetted/non-gazetted cadre of the Central Board of Excise and Customs

Central Economic Intelligence Bureau

The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) is an Indian intelligence agency responsible for gathering information and monitoring the economic and financial sectors for economic offences and warfare

Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence

The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) earlier known as the Directorate General of Anti-Evasion is an intelligence-based organisation responsible for the detection of tax evasion cases related to Central Excise Duty and Service tax. Officers in this organisation are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service (I.R.S.) and the Group 'B' gazetted/non-gazetted cadre of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

National Investigation Agency

National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the central agency to combat terror in India. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The National Investigation Agency Bill 2008 to create the agency was moved in Parliament by Union Home Minister on 16 December 2008.[3][4][5] The NIA was created in response to the Nov 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was found. It also deals with drug trafficking and currency counterfeiting. It draws its officers from IRS and IPS.

Narcotics Control Bureau

The NCB is responsible for anti-narcotic operations all over the country. It checks the spread of contraband as well as the cultivation of drugs. The officers in this organisation are drawn from IPS and IRS.

Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD)

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) was set up on 28 August 1970 in furtherance of the objective of the Government of India for the modernization of Police Forces. It is involved in a research, relating to problems confronting the Indian police, the training of different ranks of Police in India, and the introduction of technology at both federal and state levels.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

The National Police Commission in 1979 recommended the creation of a "Nodal Agency" which suggested the maintenance of criminal records at all the police stations in the country and to create shareable databases at police stations and districts and at state and federal Level.

On this recommendation NCRB was created in 1986 with amalgamation of the Directorate of Coordination Police Computers, Central Finger Print Bureau, Data Section of Coordination Division of Central Bureau of Investigation and Statistical Section of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Central forensic institutions

Central Forensic Science Laboratory

The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) is a wing of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, which fulfils the forensic requirements in the country. It houses the only DNA repository in South and Southeast Asia.

There are seven central forensic laboratories in India, at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Pune, Gauhati and New Delhi. CFSL Hyderabad is centre of excellence in chemical sciences, CFSL Kolkata in biological sciences and CFSL Chandigarh in physical sciences. These laboratories are under the control of the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The laboratory in New Delhi is under the control of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and investigates cases on its behalf.

LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (LNJN-NICFS)

The National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (formerly the "Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science") came into existence on 4 January 1972 on the recommendations of a Committee appointed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to look into the applied aspects of education, training and research in the fields of Criminology and Forensic Science to commensurate with the growing needs of the country in general and the Criminal Justice System in India in particular. In September 1979, the Institute was constituted as a separate department under the Ministry of Home Affairs headed by a full-time Director. It is headed by senior IPS officers. The present Director is Shri Sandeep Mittal, IPS, who is a renowned expert in cyber security and defence. The Institute also has capacity for training and teaching roles for cybercrime investigations. The Institute conducts research in various aspects of criminoloy and forensics including cyber forensics.The words LNJN in its name indicate Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan. It is declared as a science and technology organisation by Department of Science and Technology. Over the years, the Institute has become a dependable name in capacity building of Criminal Justice Administration in India.

State police

An armed police constable
U.P. Police personnel patrol on bikes and car

The controlling authority of a state police force is the department of home of the state government. The additional chief secretary (home) or principal secretary (home), generally an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, acts the agency executive of the state home department, whereas the chief minister of the state or the state cabinet minister for home is the minister responsible for the state home department.

Each state and union territory of India has a state police force, headed by a director general of police ranked IPS officer.

The state police is responsible for maintaining law and order in townships of the state and the rural areas.

States such as West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have taken steps to get their police force trained by advanced police training schools notably the Scotland Yard, Atlanta City Police of the US and the World Police Academy of Canada. The Tamil Nadu state police is at the forefront of advancement with the Tamil Nadu Police Academy which now is seeking university status. Kerala Police is also the first police force in South Asia, to adopt community policing for effective and pro-public friendly initiatives and action.

The Police Act of 1861 established the fundamental principles of organisation for police forces in India, and, with minor modifications, continues in effect. Consequently, although state-level police forces are separate and may differ in terms of the quality of equipment and resources, their patterns of organisation and operation are markedly similar.

The DGP or IGP, answerable to the administrative head of home department of the state, who generally is an IA) officer of the rank of additional chief secretary to state government or principal secretary to state government. Under the inspector general are a number of police "ranges" composed of three to six districts, headed by deputy inspectors general. District police headquarters are commanded by superintendents of police (SP). District superintendents of police (SP) have wide discretionary powers and are responsible for overseeing subordinate police stations as well as specialty elements, such as criminal investigation detachments, equipment storehouses and armories, and traffic police.

Most preventive police work is carried out by constables assigned to police stations. Depending on the number of stations there, a district may be subdivided and, in some states, further divided into police "circles" to facilitate the supervision from district headquarters. Most of the major metropolitan areas such as Mumbai, Kolkata and Madras have Police Commissionerates, working under the state police, headed by commissioners. Police in the states and union territories are assisted by units of volunteer Home Guards, maintained under guidelines formulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In most states and territories, police forces are functionally divided into civil (unarmed) police and armed contingents. The former, staffs police stations, conduct investigations, answer routine complaints, perform traffic duties, and patrol the streets. They usually carry lathis—bamboo staffs weighted or tipped with iron.

Contingents of armed police are divided into two groups, the district armed police and the Provincial Armed Constabulary (Pradeshik). The district armed police are organised along the lines of an army infantry battalion. They are assigned to police stations and perform guard and escort duties. Those states that maintain distinct armed contingents employ them as a reserve strike force for emergencies. Such units are organised either as a mobile armed force under direct state control or in the case of district armed police (who are not as well equipped) as a force directed by district superintendents and generally used for riot-control duty.

The Provincial Armed Constabulary is an armed reserve maintained at key locations in some states and active only on orders from the deputy inspector general and higher-level authorities. Armed constabulary are not usually in contact with the public until they are assigned to VIP duty or assigned to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may also be sent to quell outbreaks of student or labour unrest, organised crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in antiterrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, the Provincial Armed Constabulary may carry only lathis.

At all levels, the senior police officers answer to the police chain of command and respond to the general direction and control of designated civilian officials. In the municipal force, the chain of command runs directly to the state home secretary rather than to the district superintendent or district officials.

Working conditions and pay are poor, especially in the lower echelons of the police forces. Recruits receive only around ,9000 per month (about US$150). Opportunities for promotion are limited because of the system of horizontal entry into higher grades. Allegations of bribery, attributable to the low pay and poor working conditions, have been widespread.

Since the late 1980s, women have entered in larger numbers into the higher echelons of the Indian police, mostly through the Indian Police Service system. Women police officers were first used in 1972, and a number of women hold key positions in various state police organisations. However, their absolute numbers, regardless of rank, are small. Uniformed and undercover women police officers have been deployed in New Delhi as the Anti-Eve Teasing Squad, which combats sexual harassment against women ("Eves"). Several women-only police stations have also been established in Tamil Nadu to handle sex crimes against women.

A 2016 commentary on Maharashtra state police, which explains why reform is needed[6]


A display of the various ranks of the Indian police and their respective uniform at the National Police Memorial and Museum, New Delhi.

Police uniforms of state police/local police varies widely according to grade, region, and kind of duty performed.Though the main service uniform for state police is the same: A khaki dress but in some cities like Kolkata have "white" colored uniforms as standard issue, headgear like beret, peaked cap differs according to the rank and state. Officers usually wear a peaked cap while constables whereas, wear berets.[7] The other branches like CBI do not have a fixed uniform and have a formal attire (shirt, tie, blazer etc.) with a badge. Special service armed police have different tactical uniforms with gear according to their role and function. Traffic police generally wears a white uniform.[8][better source needed]


Police Commissioner of Pune, India, in 2010. Her insignia indicates her rank of DGP or Additional DGP.

District superintendents of police (SP) are not empowered as executive magistrates, in districts, the district magistrate and collector (DM or collector), who is an IAS officer, exercises these powers, such as promulgating Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and granting arms licenses.

Criminal Investigation Department

CID is constituted in each district under a deputy inspector general for the purpose of collating and distributing information regarding organised crimes.

Police commissionerates

Chennai City Mounted Police officers patrolling in their khaki-coloured uniforms during a cricket match.

Some cities in India follow the police commissionerate system, such as Barrackpore Police Commissionerate in Kolkata. The chief of a police commissionerate is the police commissioner. Reporting to the police commissioner are the joint police commissioner, deputy commissioner of police and assistant commissioner of police.

Commissioners of police and their deputies are empowered as executive magistrates, and hence are empowered to promulgate Section 144 of the CrPC and to grant arms license.

The majority of police commissionerates are subordinate to the state police, the exception being Kolkata Police, which directly reports to the Department of Home of West Bengal government.

Traffic police

Highway police and traffic police in the small towns come under the state police, but traffic police in the cities come under the metropolitan police and state police. The traffic police are responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of traffic and stopping offenders in the city or town, Highway Police are responsible for securing the highways and for catching speeding offenders. Accidents, registrations, vehicle data are all looked by the traffic police

State armed police forces

The State Armed Police Forces are organisations which provide the state with policing in particularly violent or serious situations. Such forces are involved with combating banditry and Naxalites. Like the Central Armed Police Forces, they are sometimes known unofficially as "paramilitary forces". Each state police force maintains its own State Armed Police Force (known by names such as Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Special Armed Police, etc.) which is responsible for emergencies and crowd control issues. They are generally activated only on orders from a deputy inspector general, and higher-level authorities. The armed constabulary do not usually come into contact with the general public unless they are assigned to VIP duty or to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may also be sent to quell outbreaks of student or labour unrest, organised crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in anti-terrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, the Armed Police force may carry only lathis or lethal weapons.

Selection and training

The recruitment process differs according to the level of the position, and direct entry (where an applicant does not have to start at the lowest level) is possible. The educational requirements increase with recruitments for higher posts.

The deputy superintendents of police (DSP) or assistant superintendents of police (ASP) are recruited every year by the Union Public Service Commission, an independent organisation, by a competitive exam and are appointed into the Indian Police Service. The IPS officers are then assigned to a state force. superintendents of police undergo rigorous training for 44 weeks. The training programme also involves external invitees such as lawyers and management consultants. At the end of probation, they undergo an orientation training of few weeks at the assigned state's police academy.

Lower, non-managerial positions are selected by the state or central government and are trained at Police Recruit Schools. The duration of training for inspectors is roughly a year, and for constables is nearly 9 months. The training staff for these schools are drawn from the police force itself.Police are trained in basic law, self-protection, weapon handling etc. from recruit stations best recruits are taken into special forces where they undergo special training.

Recruitment process of state police is maintained by state police recruitment boards. There are some eligibility standards which are set by Indian Government depending upon the demographics of a particular state. Those who fulfil these standards, are selected for recruitment process.


Vehicle Manufacture Notes Picture
Tata Safari  India Used by tactical police forces like SWAT and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers as a transportation vehicle. Tata Safari Storme, by SouLSteer, Maharaj Bada from Gwalior, April 2013.jpg
Mahindra Scorpio  India Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers/Income Tax Officers/Central Excise Officers for transportation. ScorpioDelhi.jpg
Mahindra XUV500  India Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers/Income Tax Officers as transportation vehicles. XUV Military.jpg
Toyota Innova  Japan/ India Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers/Income Tax Officers/Central Excise Officers/Highway Patrol as transportation vehicles. 2012 Toyota Innova (TGN40) 2.0E wagon (2015-12-24) 01.jpg
Toyota Qualis  Japan/ India Used as Squad Car in service of police stations and for Highway Patrol. 3rd toyota revo.JPG
Chevrolet Tavera  India/ United States Used as Squad Car and for Highway Patrol/Conducting Income Tax/Central Excise and Customs Raids Delhi Police Tavera.jpg
Toyota Fortuner  Japan/ India Used by Ministers and high-ranking officials among law enforcement for transportation. ToyotaFortunerDelhi.jpg
Honda Civic  Japan /  India Used by Judges, Ministers, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Members among law enforcement. HondaCivicDelhi.jpg
Toyota Corolla  Japan /  India Used by Judges, Ministers, Advisors to TRAI JudgeCar.jpg
Tata Sumo  India Used as Squad Car and for Highway Patrol Tata Sumo EX 2.0 TDi 4x4 2001 (15260028476).jpg
Tata Indigo CS  India Used as Squad Car and by Senior Bureaucrats like Commissioner of Income Tax, Police, Customs and Central Excise Tataindigodelhi.jpg
Maruti Suzuki SX4  India/ Japan Used by Senior Bureaucrats DelhiSX4.jpg
Chevrolet Captiva  India/ United States Used by Ministers CaptivaGOI.png
Hindustan Motors Ambassador  India Used by Senior Bureaucrats, Police Officers/Income Tax/Central Excise and Customs Officers and Ministers Rashtrapati Bhavan-Delhi-India4438.JPG
Ford Endeavor  India/ United States Used by Ministers EndevorFord.png
Mitsubishi Pajero  Japan/ India Used by Ministers Pajero.png
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy  Japan/ India Used as Squad Cars Wagahmps (85).JPG
Mahindra Bolero  India Used as Squad Car and for Central Excise and Customs/State Excise department Officers. Mahindra Bolero ZLX.jpg
Hyundai Accent  South Korea/ India Used as Squad Car, Additional Commissioners of Income Tax, Police Gcp patrol car.jpg

Unlike in many other countries, the various state police forces in India extensively use SUVs. The Mahindra Legend Jeep used to be the most common police car in India. In recent years, other SUVs have been employed by the police, such as the Maruti Gypsy, Mahindra Bolero, Tata Sumo, Tata Safari, Chevrolet Tavera and Toyota Qualis. SUVs are known for their capabilities to move around in any sort of terrain.

MUVs are used by police in cities, including metropolitan areas like Delhi and Mumbai, Bangalore where Chevrolet Tavera(Delhi, Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram), Toyota Qualis(Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai) and Suzuki Ertiga(Bangalore and Pune) are extensively used. Though most cities use SUVs and MUVs, some cities like Chennai have adopted sedans like the Hyundai Accent and Kolkata which has adopted the Tata Indigo.In the cities of Kerala like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode a special patrolling team called Pink Patrol for security of women uses Toyota Etios for patrolling. Depending upon the state, police vehicles may have individual revolving lights, strobes or light bars etc. An extensive modernisation drive has ensured that these vehicles are equipped with two-way radio sets in communication with a central control room. Highway Police vehicles generally also have equipment like speed radars, breath analysers and emergency first aid kits.

For traffic regulation and patrolling in cities, motorcycles are also used. Most of them were the Indian version of Royal Enfield Bullet. Of late, other motorcycles like the Bajaj Pulsar and TVS Apache have also started being used by the police forces. This is because of increasing congestion in cities where the heavier Bullets would prove to be unwieldy when compared to the nimbler handling the newer bikes were capable of. The bikes are provided with two-way radios, strobes and sirens and are generally painted white.

Cities like Mysore use horses too, but on special occasions usually.

Weapons and equipment

The weapons and equipment issued vary from state to state and agency to agency. These equipment and weapons differ according to the roles of the agencies.

The standard equipment for a constable on their beat is the lathi (not to be confused with traditional 6 to 8 ft long ones) or baton which is generally made of bamboo, but recently polymer ones are also being issued.The riot police has numerous other equipment which include tear gas, tasers etc.

In general, Indian police constables do not carry firearms when on regular duty, though they are always available at police stations. Officers of and above the rank of Sub-Inspector or Head Constables are authorized to carry a sidearm, generally a Pistol Auto 9mm 1A or a Glock 17. Officers always carry sidearms. Traffic police officers regularly don't carry any weapons but carry fine books and other equipment.

The firearms previously stocked at police stations include .303 Lee–Enfield rifles (have been replaced), 7.62 1A Self Loading Rifles, and SAF Carbine 2A1s which now have been replaced by AK-47 and INSAS rifles. The Ordnance Factories Board is the one of the suppliers of arms, ammunition, uniforms, bullet-proof vehicles, and mine protected vehicles to the Indian police. Only the station officer can allow the use of reserve guns, to be only used in emergencies. During public unrest, protests or probable terrorist attacks, police are equipped and armed directly by the state or central government. Some special units in the state and federal level police forces also have additional automatic weapons such as AK-47, AKM, INSAS assault rifles and Bren guns. Police special forces and SWAT units use Heckler and Koch MP5s, Brügger and Thomet MP9s, AK-103s, and M4A1 Carbines and many more. Bullet proof jackets are generally not worn by the state police, though special units carry special tactical vests, gear and weapons according to their function and role.

Mukhbir informers network

An informer is called Mukhbir who mainly provide information in lieu of monetary reward. Various police agencies have the annual budget for paying their mukhbirs because they act as "the eys and ears of police" and often help solve the cases. For example, in 2012 Delhi Police had an annual budget of 40 lakh to pay their mukhbir, which translated to INR2,000 per inspector level officer to pay their mukhbirs.[9]

See also