Remembering The Brave On Police Commemoration Day
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 21 Oct 2022, 5:00 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
- Indian Masterminds’ special feature on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day.
- India remembers the police personnel who made the supreme sacrifice on October 21, 1959.
- Top police officials paid their homage to the martyrs and shared their emotions on this solemn occasion.
The year was 1959. Tensions between India and China were at their peak. It all began on October 20 of the same year when a location called Hot Springs in Aksai Chin in Ladakh, situated between 15,000 and 16,000 ft above sea level on the Indo-Tibet border, was being manned by the Indian Police. The Indo-Tibetan Border Force, made up of members of the CRPF and other forces, was deployed to defend the border after the Chinese Army’s operations increased.
In North Eastern Ladakh’s Hot Springs, three scouting groups of the CRPF’s 3rd Battalion were sent out. This was done to facilitate the movement of an Indian expedition that was headed for Lanak La. By the afternoon of that day, members of two parties had returned to the Springs, but the third party, which was made up of two police constables and a porter, had not.
On October 21, a new contingent made up of all available men under the command of DCIO Karam Singh was organised to look for the missing men. At around midday, the Chinese Army opened fire and threw grenades at the Indian troops as they neared a hillock in Ladakh. What happened next is a tragedy that brought out the bravery and selflessness of our troops, and led to the observation of this day as Police Commemoration Day, every year.
POLICE COMMEMORATION DAY
Since there was no cover to hide behind, 10 out of 20 of our brave police personnel attained martyrdom while seven of the remaining ones sustained major injuries. The seven injured personnel were taken prisoners by the Chinese troops. The Chinese soldiers finally sent the bodies of the martyred police officers to India on November 28, 1959, which was nearly a month later. The funeral of these policemen took place in eastern Ladakh and they were cremated with full police honours at Hot Springs.
A resolution adopted at the Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories in January 1960 established October 21 as Police Commemoration Day/Police Smriti Divas or Martyr’s Day. Additionally, it was decided to build a memorial in Hot Springs, and each year, police officers from all across the nation travel there to pay respects to those brave martyrs.
The day plays a significant role in honouring the spirit of police people and their family members. It is celebrated to pay respect to all those who sacrificed their lives.
IPS OFFICER ANSHU SINGLA SALUTES THE BRAVE
2014-batch IPS officer of the Haryana cadre, Dr. Anshu Singla, currently posted as the DCP Headquarters in Gurugram, remembered the martyrs of October 21, 1959, two of whom she happened to know personally.
“I knew DSP Surinder and Constable Sandeep personally. They laid down their lives in the horrific incident while protecting our nation, and I will always remember their supreme sacrifice,” she said.
She believes that the challenges police personnel face are multi-fold in nature since they are struggling with external and internal forces.
“One can’t fire arms among their own people, but at the same time, it is one’s duty to provide timely justice to their people. We can only win this internal war with affection. Police personnel should possess infinite patience, courage, the strength to forgive, and the strength to punish also if required. Only when we possess all of this would we be able to take action against a person without any bias or hatred towards him or her,” she told Indian Masterminds.
She ended with these words: “My solidarity is with the martyrs and their families, in both my professional and personal capacity.”
IPS OFFICER JIMMY CHIRAM HONOURS THOSE WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
2013-batch IPS officer of AGMUT cadre and currently posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Jimmy Chiram, also paid homage to those who laid down their lives on this day, 63 years ago. He observed the commemoration of the martyrs along with his team, early in the morning in a special ceremony dedicated as a tribute to them.
“We gathered together and saluted the brave police personnel who sacrificed themselves for the nation. We read out the names of the martyrs and observed silence for them. This day is very important for all of us and reminds us of the sacrifices that our people make,” Mr. Chiram shared with Indian Masterminds.
REMEMBERING THE BRAVE
On the occasion of Police Commemoration Day, several ministers and officials from across the nation expressed their emotions through their tweets. We present a compilation:
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