Police Commemoration Day: Remembering the Super Heroes in Khaki Uniforms

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Indian policemen form a human barricade to prevent supporters of the 'Kiss of Love’ campaign from marching towards the headquarters of the Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. The campaign was launched to protest alleged increase in moral policing by Hindu right-wing organizations in India. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The Police in this country is often blamed for all every law and order failure. However, the Indian Police organization’s achievements are invariably neglected. There can be no doubt that the Indian Police force has done considerably good work on different occasions and in different parts of the country. The Police in this country can legitimately claim credit for standing successfully against the forces of disorder that threaten to eat the country from within its borders.

 

While most of us feel proud about our army, but not so much about the Indian Police. The Indian Police is routinely projected as the epitome of vice and corruption. Police System like any other system is a victim of stereotypes. And the reality is that the Indian police works selflessly to make the citizen feel safe.

 

In recognition of these selfless services, October 21st is observed as the National Police Commemoration Day / the Police Memorial Day.

 

The history of the Police Commemoration day dates back to 21st October 1959. A patrol party of CRPF led by Sub Inspector Karam Singh was ambushed by the Chinese forces at Hot Springs Ladakh and close to 20 Jawans were slayed in that combat. These brave soldiers were fighting at the altitude of 16,000 ft., in extreme cold conditions. This is a significant event in Indian history given the date and year of 1959 where the contemporary conveniences or the modern military vehicles are very less in numbers. This is the reason and to acknowledge the bravery of those Police forces, the Indo-Tibetan border Police forces sends a representative of all the police forces of the country to the Hot Springs, Ladakh every year to pay homage to the martyrs who laid down the lives on 21st Oct, 1959.

The Annual conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories held in January 1960 decided that October 21st would henceforth be observed as “Commemoration Day”. Members of the different Police Forces from different parts of the country trek to Hot Springs in Ladakh to pay homage to these gallant martyrs. Since 2012, the Commemoration Day is held at National level at Indian Police Memorial at Chanakyapuri. This year, we are observing the 51st Police Commemoration Day across the country.

Let us reminisce the brave officers who laid down their lives whilst fighting against the outlaws.

  1. Hemant Karkare: He was the chief of Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). He was killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks after being shot three times in the chest. He was honored with the Ashok Chakra on 26th January 2009.
  2. Vijay Salaskar: He was a Senior Police Inspector and an encounter specialist serving with the Mumbai Police. Salsakar was killed while fighting the terrorists in 2008 terrorists attack in Mumbai.
  3. Ashok Kamte: He was the Additional Commissioner of the Mumbai Police supervising the Eastern region. He was shot dead by the terrorists while in action during 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
  4. Tukaram Gopal Omble: He was the Assistant Sub-Inspector serving the Mumbai Police. He sacrificed his life while fighting the terrorists at Girghaum Chowpatty. He played an important role in nabbing the terrorist Ajmal Kasab alive.

Apart from these heroes, we have a never-ending list which includes several more brave hearts – Havaldar Gajender Singh, Nagappa R Mahale, Kishore K. Shinde, Sanjay Govilkar, Sunil Kumar Yadav to name a few.

While in the national circuits, we have numerous brave police officers who laid down their lives while they are on the pursuit to swipe the rowdies, underworld thugs, thieves, and other anti-social elements.

  1. Gulzar Hussain: Hussain was Additional Superintendent of Police in Assam. He was killed by the outlawed members of the NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland)
  2. Vinod Kumar Chaubey: He was Police Officer of 1998 batch who was killed in an encounter with Naxalites in the Rajanandagoan ambush in the year 2009. He was awarded with the gallantry award Kirti Chakra.
  3. K.C. Surendra Babu: He was an Indian Police officer who was killed by Maoists in the year 2005 in Bihar. He along with his five bodyguards were killed in a landmine explosion triggered by the Maoists.
  4. Kamlesh Kumari: She was an ordinary constable in the CRPF unit with an extraordinary courage. She lost her life while successfully preventing the terrorist gunmen and a suicide bomber from entering the Parliament during 2001.
  5. Mohan Chand Sharma: An Indian Police Inspector serving the Delhi Police was killed during the Batla House Encounter while fighting the terrorists.
  6. Jagadish: A Police Sub-Inspector in Doddaballapur town in Bangalore Urban area was stabbed to death by father-son duo criminals while Jagadish was chasing these criminals on a busy road. He was killed on 16th October 2015.
  7. Mallikarjun Bande: A Police Sub-Inspector who served in the Karnataka State Police Unit was shot dead in the point blank range while fighting the notorious underworld sharpshooter Munna Darbar.
  8. Randhir Prasad Verma: An Indian Police officer who died while trying to resist a robbery attempt in a bank in Dhanbad.

The list seem to be never-ending. Since 1961, an estimated total of 32,557 Police personnel have sacrificed their lives for security of the Nation and service to the society. From August 2013 to August 2014, around 670 Indian Police personnel throughout the country have laid their lives on the call of duty.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while saluting the bravery of policemen on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day gave a brief speech: “”On Police Commemoration Day we salute all the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives, putting service above themselves. Words can never describe the valor and dedication of our policemen. Their bravery, service and spirit of sacrifice will always inspire us”.

Indian Police officers take risks and secure the safety of fellow citizens, and they endure such risks and tolerate such inconveniences of behalf of strangers called citizens. Consequently, police work is one of the more noble and selfless occupations in the society. Making a difference in the quality of life is an opportunity that policing provides. Let us all pledge that we will support these selfless officers who are on the duty 24/7 and work relentlessly to keep the law and order safe in our country.

Featured Image Credits: Huffpost

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