The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is celebrating Shaurya Diwas on Tuesday, 9 April. On the occasion of the 54th CRPF Valour Day, President Ram Nath Kovind paid homage to police martyrs and paramilitary personnel killed in the line of duty, at the National Police Memorial in New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri.

A remembrance service was held when the President paid his respects to the slain security personnel, including the 40 CRPF men killed in Pulwama terror attack, and laid a wreath at the memorial.

President Kovind was accorded a “national salute” and presented a guard of honour by a joint column of troops from all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) such as the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB.

Among others present on the occasion were Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain, Director of CRPF Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, other officials of paramilitary, police forces and the Union home ministry.

It was President Kovind’s first visit to the National Police Memorial that’s a 30-foot-tall and 238-tonne black granite structure. The memorial was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 21 2018 on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day.

Earlier, the President posted on Twitter: “Honoured to visit the National War Memorial in New Delhi. The memorial salutes thousands of brave soldiers, who fought and made the supreme sacrifice to protect the sovereignty of our nation. India will remain ever grateful to them. Jai Hind!”

Formed in 1939, CRPF is one of India’s five CAPFs and is the largest of them. It is tasked with maintaining law and order and counter insurgency.

The CRPF celebrates 9 April as Shaurya Diwas or Valour Day to commemorate the defence of the Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch at the onset of the India-Pakistan War of 1965.

In the intervening night of 8 and 9 April 1965, nearly 3500 men from the 51st Infantry of Pakistani Army invaded India at Sardar Post. The Pakistani Army comprised 18 Punjab battalion, 8 Frontier Rifles, and 6 Baluch battalion. Their mission was to capture the Indian territory defended by Sardar Post.

The post was guarded by two battalions of CRPF – roughly 150 soldiers. Compared to the Pakistani Army, the CRPF soldiers were no match in terms of arsenal. Additionally, the terrain was disadvantageous for the defending forces.

A fight ensued in which the Pakistani Army made three attempts to overrun the post. But the CRPF soldiers thwarted every attempt with a brilliant display of courage and strategic intelligence.

The battle lasted for 12 hours. In the end, the Pakistani Army fled the battleground leaving behind 34 of their men dead, which included two officers. Another four soldiers were captured alive.

On that night, the CRPF lost six of its brave soldiers. Ever since, the day has been celebrated by the CRPF as the Valour Day or Shaurya Diwas.