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60th Police Martyrs’ Day, October 21 2019

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60th Police Martyrs’ Day, October 21 2019

Every year since 1959, October 21 is celebrated as the Police Commemoration Day. The day is celebrated to honour the soldiers who sacrificed their lives on this date, five decades ago in the chilling winter of Ladakh serving the country. The 10 brave lost their lives as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men bore the brunt of the first of slaughter of the Chinese aggression at the Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh. The force was ambushed by the Chinese forces as a part of the ongoing Sino-Indian border dispute.

A nationwide observation is made every year by the police departments and homage is paid to the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The CRPF men showcased the exceptional act of Valour in the battle.

Timeline of Events

Autumn, 1959: The Indian Police Personnel were given the responsibility for manning the 2,500-mile-long border of India with Tibet.

October 12, 1959:

Three reconnaissance parties were launched from Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh in preparation for further movement of an Indian expedition which was on its way to Lanak La.

While two of the reconnaissance parties returned to the Hot Springs by the afternoon that day, one party consisting of two constables and a porter did not return.

October 21, 1959:

The available personnel was mobilised in search of the missing personnel. A part of 20 Police Personnel led by Shri Karam Singh, DCIO proceeded ahead on horseback, while others followed on foot in three sections.

Around midday, the Chinese Army personnel were seen on a hillock that opened fire and threw grenades at the party led by Shri Karam Singh.

With no cover available, most of the personnel were injured and 10 of the brave Indian Police Personnel attained martyrdom and seven sustained injuries.

The seven injured were taken as prisoners by the Chinese while others managed to escape.

November 13, 1959:

Bodies of ten personnel were returned by the Chinese, three weeks after the incident.

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The bodies were cremated at the Hot springs with full Police honours.

January 1960:

The annual conference of Inspectors General Police States and Union Territories decided that October 21 would be henceforth be observed as “Commemoration Day’ in all Police Lines across India.

The day was decided to mark the memory of these gallant personnel who were killed in Ladakh and all other Police personnel killed on duty during the year.

It was also decided to erect a memorial at the Hot Springs and a trek to Hot Springs will be taken by the Police Forces from different parts of the country to pay homage to the gallant martyrs.

Since the year 2012, the Police Commemoration Day Parade is being held at the Police Memorial, Chanakyapuri.

National Police Memorial

The NPM (National Police Memorial) has been built to recognize the supreme sacrifice of the CRPF personnel since independence. The memorial has been erected on 6.12 acres of land in Delhi, at the northern end of Shanti Path (the main road in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri).

The State/UT Police forces and Central Police Organizations of the country are represented in the NPM. Prime Minister of India, each year pays tribute to the martyrs in the New Delhi located memorial. It consists of a 30-foot (9.1 metres) tall and 238-tonne heavy black granite central sculpture, a museum and a “Wall of Valour” bearing the names of all the 34,844 police personnel who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The weight and colour of the stone represent the gravitas and solemnity of supreme sacrifice.

National Police Museum

The underground museum is the first police museum of its kind representing 2000 years of policing in the region, since Kautilya’s system of Law and Order in 310 BCE. The museum consists of five galleries over 16000 square meters. The police forces of 28 states and 9 UTs are presented including a special mention to women quads, police bands and animal squads.

From 1959 to now, every year, thousands of Policemen in India sacrifice their lives fighting crime and terror. Whether it is on the borders or in the metropolitan city of Mumbai where terror broke on 26th of November, these men have showcased their commitment towards the country every time.

We salute the bravery of our policemen on Police Commemoration Day who continues to serve the country and helps the brands to maintain Rule of Law, Public Order and Internal Security effectively and efficiently.

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