The Police Commemoration Day will be observed at the Police Memorial Ground, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi tomorrow. The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh will lay wreath and pay homage on the occasion.
The day commemorates the sacrifices of ten policemen while defending our borders with China in 1959. Indian Police personnel were responsible for manning the 2,500 mile long border of India with Tibet until the autumn of 1959.
On October 20, 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 members of two parties returned to Hot Springs by the afternoon of that day, the third one comprising of two Police Constables and a Porter did not return. All available personnel were mobilized early next morning in search of the missing personnel. A party of about 20 Police personnel led by Shri Karam Singh, DCIO proceeded ahead on horseback, while other followed on foot in three Sections.
At about mid day, Chinese Army personnel were seen on a hillock who opened fire and threw grenades at the party led by Shri Karam Singh. Since there was no cover, most personnel were injured. Ten of them died, seven were taken prisoners by the Chinese and the remaining managed to escape.
Bodies of the ten personnel were returned by the Chinese only on November 13, 1959, a full three weeks after the incident. These bodies were cremated with full Police honours at Hot Springs.
The Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories held in January 1960 decided that October 21 would henceforth be observed as ‘Commemoration Day’ in all Police Lines throughout India 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 Hot Springs and, every year, members of Police Forces from different parts of the country trek to Hot Springs to pay homage to those gallant martyrs. Since the year 2012, the Police Commemoration Day Parade is being held at the National level at the Police Memorial, Chanakyapuri.
Since 1961, more than 33,000 police personnel have sacrificed their lives for security of the nation and service to the society.