Police Commemoration Day – 21 October

Police Commemoration Day – 21 October

Police Commemoration Day or National Police Day is celebrated every year on the 21st of October in India. The day is celebrated to pay homage to police officials who lost their lives in the line of duty. All State Police forces hold a commemoration parade to remember the gallant policemen who laid down their lives protecting ordinary citizens or fighting terrorists.


The day commemorates the sacrifices of ten policemen while defending our borders with China in 1959. Indian Police personnel was responsible for manning the 2,500-mile-long border of India with Tibet until the autumn of 1959.

It was on 21st October 1959, 10 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) lost their lives at the Indo-Tibetian border when Chinese forces ambushed their patrol party. On November 28, 1959, the Chinese troops handed over the mortal remains of these martyred policemen to India. Their cremation was held with full police honors at Hot Springs in Ladakh.

It was then decided at the Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories held in January 1960 that October 21 would henceforth be observed as Police Commemoration Day. Since then National Police Day is observed every year to commemorate the sacrifices of policemen.

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Police War memorial

The day intends to pay tribute to martyred police personnel who laid their lives to ensure the safety of others. The Police War memorial in New Delhi commemorates several police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty where the parade is held on this day. The Memorial gives police forces of the country, a sense of national identity, pride, common history, and destiny.

‘The Wall of Valour’, a 30 feet tall granite sculpture is also erect at the police memorial with the names of over 35,000 martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. It also bears testimony to an incident that took place 59 years ago, more than 700 kilometers away, in Ladakh.

Interesting facts about the Indian police

  • Police Forces in India are Overburdened and short of staff. This results in an enormous workload and also led to poor mental health.
  • Indian police forces lack proper investigative instruments and they do not have adequate training and expertise to conduct professional investigations.
  • In India, the mustache is classed as a respected symbol of authority in certain positions, with policemen even receiving more pay just simply for having a mustache.
  • The Media representation of Police in the forces is more often than not a realistic one. Police officers portrayed as macho superheroes are a Bollywood staple. The list of movies like Singham, Sooryavanshi, and Dabang puts out a problematic picture of police officers who are nothing like people in our real lives.
  • Women only make up 7% of the entire police force in India. Kiran Bedi was the first woman to join the Indian Police forces.
  • in India, all the police officers as well as the Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) officers wear Khaki colors uniforms. Khaki color is dark but not too dark and can easily cover the dust on the uniform.
  • Indian policing system needs to keep up with the demands of the changing times. Crime has only evolved in modern times and this requires cooperation between both police and civilians.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.