The Punjab government goofed up while submitting the list of policemen for Police Commemoration Day - held to commemorate those purportedly killed in the line of duty during the September 1, 2013 to 31 August 2014 period.
While Punjab claimed that 208 policemen had been martyred in this period, the total number of police martyrs, from the state police forces and central paramilitary forces, from across the country stood at 642. Such a big number from Punjab was strange considering Punjab did not suffer any major security issues during the period.
The list also seemed to escape the scrutiny of not only the Punjab state police, the state intelligence bureau and the state home department but also the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Union home minister Rajnath Singh read out the wrong figures from Punjab on October 21, 2014 at the Police Memorial in New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri during Police Commemoration Day. To make it worse, the list was also read out at all district headquarters and other police units across the country during the ceremonial ‘Smriti Parade’ where the names were read out.
Arpit Shukla, Punjab Police, IG, (administration), told HT that there was confusion in the communiqué sent by the Union government because of which Punjab police included state policemen who had unnatural deaths in the list — those policemen who had died in road accidents or in other calamities.
However after the clarification the correction has already been made.
Shulkla said after the corrections, Punjab government submitted a list of three policemen.
Punjab’s figures should have struck authorities as being odd, seeing as to how when Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand had respectively 19 policemen and 18 casualties respectively, while insurgency-hit Jammu and Kashmir had 16. Among the paramilitary forces, the country’s lead anti-Naxal force CRPF suffered 42 casualties during the period. Even in the militancy years from 1981 to 1996, the Punjab police suffered 1,415 casualties, with the average at more than 94 every year during the deadly period.