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Honouring the Police Force – Where India Stands

police commemoration day

Police Commemoration Day is observed on 21st October every year to honour paramilitary and state police personnel who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation by laying down their lives in the line of duty.  It also bears testimony to an incident which took place 60 years ago in Ladakh. With the instances like airstrikes and induction of Rafale etc, we know for the fact that a lot of things changed for the better for our military. Has the same sprit been reflected in honouring the police forces?

We examine that aspect in this article. Before that a little background on the importance of the day.

1959 Hot Springs Attack

On 21st October 1959, the Chinese army without any provocation or warning attacked a small CRPF patrol party in Akshai Chin region the northern-most part of India’s 2,500-mile long border with Tibet. Even though the CRPF patrol party was heavily outnumbered, both in terms of men and machinery, they launched an audacious counter-attack and managed to stall any further advance by the Chinese soldiers.

In the ensuing battle, 10 CRPF men made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. In order to commemorate the exceptional act of valour by the men of CRPF, 21st October is observed as ‘Police Commemoration Day’ by all police forces across the country.

Recognizing the Valour of Police Forces

Since independence, about 35,000 police personnel have been killed in action and during the last year (September 2018 to August 2019) a total of 292 personnel have laid down their lives or died due to unnatural reasons while on duty.

The government led by PM Modi has taken a number of steps to recognize the valour of our uniformed personnel including the paramilitary and police forces, and recognize and reward their brave acts accordingly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, this day last year, inaugurated the refurbished National Police Memorial, including a newly built museum of these forces in khaki.

PM Modi paying Homage at National Police Memorial

The memorial is a 30-foot tall, 238-tonne black granite cenotaph situated between Rashtrapati Bhavan and Shanti Path in the diplomatic enclave of the national capital, and is dedicated to soldiers from the paramilitary forces and state police who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The Wall of Valour has the names of all 34,844 martyrs engraved on granite.

An annual award to recognize the efforts of police personnel who display exemplary behaviour during relief and rescue operations named after freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose had also been instituted.

The Government in 2016 had also increased the ex-gratia lump sum compensation to families of deceased CAPF jawans from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 35 lakh in case of deaths occurring in border skirmishes and action against militants. Further, in cases of death attributed to acts of violence, the compensation was increased to Rs 25 lakh.

The long pending demand of Paramilitary personnel to grant them organised group ‘A’ service (OGAS) and extend benefit of Non-Functional Upgrade (NFU) and Non-Functional Selection Upgrade (NFUS) to their group ‘A’ executive officers was approved by the Cabinet led by PM Modi. This not only improves their financial status but also their cadre status.

Speaking on the occasion of this year’s Police Commemoration Day Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that further programmes for the betterment of Police force are in the pipeline.

These steps are also in line with Government’s aim to recognize and reward the bravery of all of our security forces including Indian Armed Forces which saw the inauguration of the National War Memorial by the PM in February of this year.