Police Commemoration Day (Police Martyrs Day) is annually observed across India on 21 October to pay homage to, and appreciate the incredible dedication of all the Police personnel who were killed on duty.
- The day commemorates the sacrifices of 10 brave Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) policemen, who sacrificed their lives while defending our borders with China in 1959 at Hot Springs in Aksai Chin, Ladakh.
i.In January 1960, a resolution was passed at the Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories, recognising October 21st of every as the Police Commemoration Day.
- 21st October of every year since 1960 is being observed as Police Commemoration Day”. The day is also observed as Police Martyr’s Day.
ii.A decision was also made to erect a memorial at Hot Springs. The memorial serves as a tribute to the gallant martyrs.
- Every year, members of Police Forces nationwide undertake a trek to Hot Springs.
History of Commemoration Day:
i.On 20 October 1959, CRPF patrolled the India-Tibet border with 3 units of the 3rd Battalion.
- The 3rd Battalion conducted independent patrols in the Hot Springs area of Ladakh.
- The primary objective was to monitor the India-China border located east of Ladakh.
ii.Only two of these units returned and the third one comprising of two Police Constables and a Porter did not return.
iii.A new unit of 20 personnel consisting of people from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBF) and CRPF was led by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)/Deputy Central Intelligence Officer (DCIO) Karam Singh to search for the missing unit.
- Out of 20, 10 Police personnel were killed and 7 injured personnel were imprisoned by China.
- The 10 martyred Policemen were returned by the Chinese only on November 13, 1959, a full three weeks after the incident. They were cremated with full Police honours at Hot Springs.
Note: Hot Spring in Aksai Chin in Ladakh is situated between 15,000 and 16,000 feet above sea level on the Indo-Tibet border which was being manned by the Indian Police.
Events in India:
Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Home Affairs paid homage to the martyrs on Police Commemoration Day 2023 at the NPM in New Delhi, Delhi on 21st October 2023. The NPM hosted the primary commemoration event, which was presided over by the Union Home Minister.
National Police Memorial:
On Police Commemoration Day in 2018, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi dedicated the National Police Memorial (NPM) in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (Delhi), to the nation. The memorial comprises a central sculpture, the ‘Wall of Valour’ and a museum.
About Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF):
Director-General– Dr Sujoy Lal Thaosen, Indian Police Service (IPS)
Establishment– 27 July 1939
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi