Nagpur: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
This evocative epitaph engraved at Hot Springs Ladakh reminds us of martyrdom of policemen killed in Ladakh in 1959 by Chinese troops and to pay tribute to all other Police personnel killed on duty during the year. National Police Commemoration Day will be observed on October 21 at the District Headquarters in city as well as across the country.
The history of the Police Commemoration day dates back to October 21, 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 killed in that combat. These brave soldiers were fighting at the altitude of 16,000 ft., in extreme cold conditions. On 28th November 1959, the dead bodies of the martyred policemen were handed over to India by the Chinese troops and the cremation of those martyrs was held with full police honours at the Hot Springs in Ladakh.
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 October 21, 1959.
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”. 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.
This year, a total of 473 police officers and personnel in the country and 5 police officers and personnel in Maharashtra attained martyrdom while discharging their duties. The Police Commemoration Day will be observed at all District Headquarters at 8 am on October 21.
“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”.
By Narendra Hiwre, Police Inspector (Crime Branch), Nagpur City