The History and Significance of Police Commemoration Day
On October 21, 1959, ten courageous Policemen laid down their lives in a fierce ambush by heavily armed Chinese troops at Hot Springs in Ladakh. In their memory and that of all Police personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty, October 21 is observed as Police Commemoration Day. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the brave men and women who dedicated their lives to preserving national security and integrity.
Inaugurating the National Police Memorial
In 2018, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji dedicated the National Police Memorial (NPM) in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, to the nation on Police Commemoration Day. The NPM plays a pivotal role in giving Police Forces a sense of national identity, pride, unity of purpose, common history, and shared destiny. It reinforces their unwavering commitment to protect the nation, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.
The Components of the National Police Memorial
The NPM is a multifaceted tribute to the valor and sacrifice of Police personnel. It comprises three main components:
- The Central Sculpture: This 30-foot-high granite monolith cenotaph symbolizes the strength, resilience, and selfless service of Police personnel. It stands as a testament to their unwavering dedication.
- The Wall of Valour: Engraved with the names of martyrs, this wall serves as a steadfast acknowledgment of the bravery and sacrifice of Police personnel who have laid down their lives in the line of duty since Independence.
- The Museum: Conceptualized as a historical and evolving exhibition on policing in India, the museum provides a comprehensive look into the history and role of the police in the country.
A Site of Reverence and Pilgrimage
The NPM is more than just a memorial; it is a site of pilgrimage and a place of reverence for Police personnel and citizens alike. It reminds all who visit of the tremendous sacrifices made by these brave men and women in uniform. The Memorial is open to the public on all days except Mondays.
Commemorative Events on Police Commemoration Day
October 21, Police Commemoration Day, is observed nationwide. The main function is held at the National Police Memorial and is customarily presided over by the Union Home Minister. The day includes a joint parade of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with Delhi Police, wreath-laying ceremonies, and an address by the Union Home Minister, highlighting the challenges of policing.
Honoring Martyrs and Their Families
During the commemoration period, which extends from October 22 to 30, various events are organized at the NPM. These include visits by family members of martyrs, Police Band Displays, motorcycle rallies, runs for martyrs, blood donation camps, essay and painting competitions, and video film displays showcasing the sacrifice, valor, and service of Police personnel.
Nationwide Commemorative Programs
Similar programs are organized across the country by all Police Forces during this period, ensuring that the sacrifices made by Police personnel are remembered and honored from the nation’s capital to the farthest corners of the country.
Police Commemoration Day, as observed in India, is a solemn occasion to remember and pay homage to the brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives to protect the nation and its people. The National Police Memorial stands as a powerful symbol of their valor and commitment to duty.