On 71st Republic Day, Noida Police bids adieu to British era Lee-Enfield rifle
The Noida Police, Sunday, bid adieu to the British-era Lee-Enfield .303 rifles which were used for the 21-gun salute one last time during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at the Surajpur police line.
The rifle—used by the British during the two World Wars and only fires one shot at a time—will be replaced by modern weapons, including the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS), Self-Loading Rifles (SLR), and AK-47, the police said.
The switch to modern weaponry is being made across the state.
Gautam Budh Nagar police commissioner Alok Singh said the government is not only retiring the old rifle, but also taking a step towards better policing with introduction of modern weapons. “This rifle has been used by the UP police for a long time in checking organised crimes, naxalism, dacoits, etc, but now the government has decided against using them any longer. “This has been one of the best defensive weapons. But as per the changing time, we need to adopt non-lethal weapons,” he said.
A police constable carrying the Lee-Enfield rifle said it was heavy weapon. “It becomes difficult to run with the rifle in case the need arises. Technical glitches often affect the rifle. We are happy that light-weight modern weapons will be given to us,” he said wishing not to be named.
GB Nagar additional commissioner of police (crime) Sriparna Gongulee said the Noida police already has Insas, SLR and AK-47. “These weapons are carried by police personnel. We use them depending on the situation. Any police official, who knows how to operate them, can use these weapons,” Gongulee said.
The Republic Day programme, held from 9am-11am, was graced by state sugarcane minister Suresh Rana as the chief guest. He also unfurled the tricolour. “Better law and order is the foundation on which a state develops. The UP chief minister launched the commissionerate system in Gautam Budh Nagar and made a historic decision,” he said.
He went on to talk about the investment the state government is trying to get for Gautam Budh Nagar. “Business houses and high-rises have increased in Noida. This is contributing to India’s economic grown. The UP government has planned to modernise the Noida police as well,” he said.
Shraddha Narendra Pandey, ACP Noida Zone, and Rahul Bhati, an under training IPS officer, led the Republic Day parade as first and second commanders. Platoons, comprising Noida traffic police, Noida Police, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), women police personnel, motorcycle-dasta 112, forensic team, fire department policemen, etc. participated in the parade.
The Noida police also made a representative PCR as “Women PCR” on the occasion. The police said the PCR will respond to distress calls by woman and may even be used to drop them home at night if they fail to find public transportation.