Jammu- The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) conducted its Raising Day parade outside its Delhi headquarters for the first time on Saturday with Union Home Minister Amit Shah taking salute at the march past in Jammu.
Flanked by CRPF Director General Kuldeip Singh, the home minister handed over gallantry medals to the force personnel and trophies for best establishments in different categories at the event held at the Maulana Azad Stadium in the heart of Jammu city.
Several dignitaries, including Union minister Jitendra Singh, J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, J&K High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Director General of BSF Pankaj Singh and Director General of J&K Police Dilbag Singh, attended the 83rd Raising Day parade.
This was for the first time that the CRPF Day parade was held outside its headquarters in Delhi-NCR in accordance with the central government's decision.
A large number of CRPF personnel and their family members and school children witnessed the splendid parade which was followed by various traditional sports demonstrations and motorcycle stunts by the force's women contingent.
"Today this force of 3.25 lakh jawans should rededicate itself to internal security and the security of the nation and resolve to carry forward the great history of the CRPF," Shah, who was wearing an orange turban, said in his address during the parade.
He said the government has decided that annual parades of all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will be held in different parts of the country.
"...all the CAPF organisations engaged in the country's borders and internal security should go to different parts of the country and build good relations with the people and mix with the culture of various regions of the country and as always dedicate themselves to duty," he said.
He said it was from Jammu and Kashmir that Pandit Prem Nath Dogra and Syama Prasad Mookerjee had protested saying that Kashmir is an integral part of India -- two chiefs, two insignias and two legislations cannot exist in the country.
"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the dream of one chief, one insignia and one legislation, both of which were dreams of Mookerjee and Dogra, have been fulfilled, he said.
Since the raising of the CRPF, he said till date 2,340 of its personnel have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation.
"I would like to pay humble tributes on behalf of the entire nation to the CRPF jawans who have made sacrifices, first while protecting the country's borders and later the country's internal security, fighting naxalism and terrorism and dealing with riots. Whenever India's history is written, the supreme sacrifice of these 2,340 personnel will be written in golden letters, he said.
He assured the families of those who have received posthumous honours that their sacrifice will never go in vain.
"CRPF has established the tradition of considering the security of the country and its countrymen above itself. I am sure that the jawans of the force will carry forward this tradition with the same dedication, he said.
On this day in 1950, he said, the country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel gave CRPF its colours. Today, the CRPF is the country's largest armed force with 246 battalions and 3.25 lakh soldiers and whose credibility is recognised not only in the country but by all armed forces in the world," he said.
Shah remembered the CRPF heroes who faced the Chinese army attack in Hot Springs on October 21, 1959 bravely despite being in very small numbers for every inch of the country's land and sacrificed their lives.
"That is why by celebrating October 21 as Police Day, all police forces in the country re-dedicate themselves to the internal security of our nation, by taking inspiration from the valour and sacrifice shown by CRPF personnel at Hot Springs," he said.
On April 9, 1965, when the Sardar Post in Kutch was attacked by a Pakistani infantry brigade, CRPF personnel were also there and fought till the last drop of their blood and made the supreme sacrifice in trying to save Indian territory, he said.
In his welcome address, the Director General of CRPF spoke about the history of the force and said the force has shown its mettle in the face of worst attacks by militants and naxals in the past.
"Despite the martyrdom of its personnel, the CRPF personnel stood up to the challenge with dedication and resolve, he said, referring to the terror attack on a convoy of the force in Pulwama that left 40 of its personnel dead and several other major attacks by Naxals.
The CRPF chief appreciated the support of the home ministry for accepting various proposals for the welfare of jawans and their families like extending the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, a national public health insurance scheme, to the CRPF personnel.
However, he said, there are some proposals pending with the home ministry and he is hopeful of getting them sanctioned very soon.
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