Kohima: As Nagaland on Thursday joined the nation in observing Police Commemoration Day, Deputy chief minister and home minister Y Patton called for equal recognition of service and sacrifice made by police personnel as in the case of the armed forces.
“In popular culture, the armed forces are always lauded for their bravery and personal sacrifices they make. While in no manner undermining them, the bravery and sacrifices of policemen and police women require to be highlighted equally. While armed forces defend the nation against external aggression, the police protect us against forces aiming to destabilize the country internally,” he said.
Addressing police personnel at the new police reserve in Phesama on Thursday, Patton recalled the sacrifices made by 10 brave policemen in Aksai-Chin area of Ladakh who were killed by the Chinese army in 1959.
“Today, we proudly recall the cremation of the martyrs at ‘Hot Spring’ Ladakh and thereafter all the brave and courageous police personnel who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, putting service above themselves. We salute their valour and dedication and words can never describe their bravery, services, and the spirit of sacrifice as they continue to inspire us all,” Patton said.
The home minister said that police personnel sacrifice their family life, social life and holidays to ensure that society is safe by regularly combating anti-socials, terrorists and disruptive forces that threaten to tear the nation apart.
“The sacrifice of a human life is the supreme sacrifice,” Patton added.
In recognition of the contributions made by the police, he reminded that the Union government has declared the period of October 21-31 to be celebrated as Police Flag Day. The Police Commemoration Day is the inaugural event of these celebrations.
“As a Home Minister of the state, I am proud to state that Nagaland Police is performing their role very well,” he exuded with confidence.
He highlighted that the Nagaland Police, along with medical health workers, have been on the forefront of the state government’s efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“During the pandemic, Nagaland Police stepped beyond conventional ‘Law and Order’ approach and took on a new role as public health messengers and service providers. I congratulate Nagaland Police for coming out of their comfort zone of traditional policing and performing citizen-centric policing, which is the need of our modern times,” he said.
He informed that out of 14 Nagaland police personnel who passed away due to COVID-19 while in the line of duty, six —three from Kohima and three from Dimapur – were given ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each. He informed that the state government was expediting the release of ex-gratia grants to the remaining.
“We realize that ex-gratia cannot be a compensation for a life lost; it cannot bring back anyone. It is but a humble acknowledgement of the present government for the invaluable service received and an expression of gratitude on behalf of citizens of Nagaland. We mourn their loss; we share the pain and vacuum they leave behind for their loved ones. But, we also take pride in the dedication shown in the supreme sacrifice made by them,” Patton added.
The deputy CM also lauded the police personnel of narcotics checkpoint at Khuzama for making the state’s largest seizure of smuggled gold recently to the tune of approximately Rs 22.78 Crore.
He commended the exemplary sincerity, honesty and dedication exhibited by the police personnel and assured that the state government is working to give due recognition and awards to the personnel.
Further, he urged all police personnel to emulate the ideals of the fallen heroes and ensure the prevalence of peace, tranquility and progress in the society and uphold the Nagaland police motto ‘Security, Service and Sacrifice’.
Nagaland DGP T John Longkumer informed that this year, 377 policemen from all over the country had sacrificed their lives while protecting the integrity and security of the country. The police officer also paid homage to the police personnel who succumbed to COVID-19.
“We also especially acknowledge the sacrifice and contribution of the 14 brave heart COVID martyrs of Nagaland Police,” the DGP said. He thanked the state government for the declaration of ex-gratia to all Nagaland Police personnel who succumbed to COVID-19.
The DGP also acknowledged the faith reposed on the state police in setting up and management of the 1,500-bedded quarantine centre at Ganeshnagar in Dimapur, making it the largest quarantine centre in the state. He informed that a 100-bedded COVID-19 hospital is also nearing completion, with the oxygen plant being installed.
“Today is not merely a day of mourning but a day of celebrating the spirit of selfless sacrifice of the police men and police women who have become immortal through their deeds. Let us renew our pledge to serve our people, to secure and maintain the integrity of our nation and make the sacrifice when needed,” the police chief said.
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