Police Commemoration Day 2021: History, Significance – All you need to know

Police Commemoration Day is observed on October 21 every year since 1959. Know its history, significance, and the setting up of the National Police Museum.

Police Commemoration Day 2021: PM Modi paying tribute, Twitter/ PM Narendra Modi
Police Commemoration Day 2021: PM Modi paying tribute, Twitter/ PM Narendra Modi

Police Commemoration Day is observed on October 21 every year since 1959 to pay tributes to the police personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty during the clash with Chinese troops as well as all police personnel who died during service. PM Narendra Modi in a tweet acknowledged the ‘outstanding efforts by our police forces in preserving law and order and assisting others in times of need.’ Home Minister Amit Shah also paid his tributes stating that the country’s police force is a ‘wonderful example of the culmination of courage, restraint, and diligence.’

As per the data provided by the National Police Memorial, a total of 35,134 police personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty since Independence till August 31, 2019. Between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, a total of 377 police personnel lost their lives while serving. The Indian Police Service (IPS) Association also paid their homage to those police personnel who died for the country.

Police Commemoration Day – History

The beginning of Police Commemoration Day goes back to 1959 when 10 Indian policemen were killed by Chinese troops in a clash at Hot Springs in Aksai Chin near Ladakh on October 21, 1959. Amid the rising activities of the Chinese Army, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were deployed along the Indo-Tibetan Border Force to maintain security in the frontier region and guard the Indo-Tibet border posts.

The Chinese soldiers captured, opened fire, and threw grenades at 20 Indian police personnel during which 10 Indian police personnel lost their lives in the line of duty. On November 13, 1959, the Chinese troops handed over the dead bodies of those martyred policemen to India. They were cremated with full Police honours at Hot Springs.

Police Commemoration Day - Significance

Since then, Police Commemoration Day came into being to honor the sacrifice of those 10 Police personnel as well as of all police personnel in the country who die while serving the nation. October 21 as Police Commemoration Day was instituted during the Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories that was held in January 1960.

National Police Memorial

In 1994, a National Police Memorial (NPM) was decided to be set up in Delhi to further honour the sacrifices of valiant Police personnel. In 2002, the Ministry of Urban Development sanctioned land measuring 6.12 acres at Chanakyapuri. The then Home Minister LK Advani laid the foundation stone in December 2002.

However, due to several procedural delays, the construction of NPM was delayed and called off in July 2004. In 2014-15, the then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allotted Rs 50 crores towards the NPM construction work that included setting up the Wall of Valour, a Police Museum, and a Central Sculpture. The work was completed in October 2018.

On October 21, 2018, PM Narendra Modi while paying tributes on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day unveiled the National Police Memorial at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The Wall of Valour bears the names of all the 35,134 personnel who died in the line of duty.

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