History of the “Gendarmerie” in the holy city of Karbala
The KCSR’s Karbala Civilization Encyclopedia has documented in its 7th volume, p. 152, the establishment of the police force aka “gendarmerie” during the late Ottoman era.
The encyclopedia said that what’s so-called the “military garrisons” were responsible for maintaining security and order in the Ottoman states, and because of the failure of these forces in their missions, as well as they were a source of unrest and chaos in the states, the Ottoman government took action to abolish them and replace them with the gendarmerie forces under the “Wilayats” law issued in 1864 AD, so the “Dhabtiyah” force was formed.
In the Wilayat of Baghdad, the governor, Midhat Pasha, abolished the irregular security forces named “Bashbouzog” and “Hayta,” as he replaced them with the police force or “gendarmerie.” The “Dhabtiyah” police forces in the Karbala Brigade in 1881 AD were represented by Regiment (3), comprising four companies, two of them were infantry and the other two were cavalry.
In 1907 AD, the main police force in Karbala was the fourth regiment, led by Lieutenant Colonel “Mirza Agha,” and included a number of companies. Among the staff of the Karbala regiment, was a clerk named “Abd al-Wahid Effendi.” The number of the fourth regiment was 377, consisting of 14 officers, 138 infantry members, and 95 cavalry members.
The police departments were located in the districts and sub-districts of the Karbala brigade, such as the Al-Hindiya district, the Najaf district, and the Al-Musayyab district. They were entrusted with the task of maintaining security in the brigade. They also assumed the task of extinguishing fires that broke out in government departments or private residences. They served as a supporting force for the army and were assigned the task of collecting taxes.