|Ever since the enactment of Act V of 1861, whereby the police system of British India got streamlined, there were proposals at regular intervals to form a specialised detective wing. However it was not till the Police Commission of 1902-03, which finally recommended the formation of a Criminal Investigation Department for each of the provinces that the concept was seriously examined. It was recommended that a Criminal Investigation Department, (CID) should be constituted in each province under a Deputy Inspector General of Police for the purpose of collating and distributing information regarding organised crimes. It would also be in charge of Railway Police and the Finger Print Bureau, which was earlier under the Secretariat Police officer. The CID would also undertake the investigation of specialised crimes that require technical expertise. Finally on 21 March 1905 the Government of India accepted the proposal of the Commission and issued instructions to start the department in every province by 1907. In Bengal the CID came into existence on 1 April 1906 under Mr.C.W.C. Plowden.
Initially the CID of Bengal province apart from the DIG had a sanctioned strength 19 Inspectors, 17 Sub-Inspectors, 4 Head Constables and 27 Constables. The premises on 41 Park Street in Calcutta became the headquarters of CID. In the initial few years there was a lot of overlapping in the functions of the CID with the Special Branch of Calcutta Police till it got streamlined in 1911. However the State Intelligence Branch and CID maintained close relations till the former got totally separated in 1965.
The violent turn in the freedom struggle after the Partition of Bengal and the resultant Swadeshi Movement coincided more or less with the birth of CID. The activities of the secret societies followed by large number of bomb blasts, political conspiracies, assassinations and (‘Swadeshi’ dacoities compelled Mr. Plowden to bifurcate the CID into two sections-one investigating criminal cases while the other investigating political crimes. For this purpose the strength of CID was augmented substantially. This period also saw the investigation of the Alipore Bomb case by the CID.
Chiefs of CID
1. C. W. C. Plowden, DIG CID on 1st April 1906
2. F. C. Daly, DIG CID, 20th December 1908
3. J. C. Farmer