Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India at the gathering after decorating CRPF Officers and Men with Gallantry Medals on the occasion of Valour Day, in New Delhi on April 09, 2018.

New Delhi | April 9, 2018

“I feel honoured to stand here today to pay homage and salutations to the brave Martyrs of this great Force on the occasion of Valour Day for their supreme sacrifice. This is indeed a glorious Force and I am proud of the rich tradition of Valour, Courage and Professionalism that the CRPF has always stood for. I congratulate all officers and men who have been decorated today with Gallantry Medals.

I am happy to note the immense contribution made by CRPF in upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the very critical role it continues to play in cementing the internal security framework of the country. The Force which started off as a single Battalion in 1939 was renamed as the Central Reserve Police in 1949. Responding to the evolving demands over time, the force has been expanding and carrying forward its tradition of professionalism and setting new benchmarks of bravery and valour over the years.

The sacrifices at Hot Springs, the Battle of Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch, safeguarding the pillars of democracy in the Parliament attack, averting the attack of Ayodhya are the events which have no parallel in the history of Armed Police Forces. CRPF personnel have set many unprecedented examples of gallant action fighting against anti-national elements and upholding the integrity and sovereignty of the Nation.

Today, we recall the tale of valour of almost five decades ago. On 9th April, 1965, a heavily outnumbered small contingent of CRPF created an unparalleled feat in history by holding at bay the Army Infantry Brigade of Pakistan for over 12 hours. The manner in which CRPF men stood their ground against the enemy, adopting right tactics and deployment, forced the Pakistani Brigade to retreat. Eight CRPF men laid down their lives fighting the onslaught by enemy forces. This saga of gallantry and valour will continue to inspire all of us.

I am extremely glad to note the multifarious duties being carried out by CRPF ranging from counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist to anti-naxal operations in the conflict torn theatres.

Besides playing a key role in assisting the states in maintaining public order, I know that CRPF is also guarding vital installations, including the Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu, Ram Janam Bhoomi/Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Kashi Vishwanath Temple /Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, Krishna Janam Bhoomi and Shaheedgah Masjid in Mathura and the Parliament House. It is truly the strongest pillar of the country’s internal security apparatus.

Sisters and Brothers,

It is heartening to hear of the significant operational achievements of your Force in the recent years in terms of area domination, ventures in Naxal infested terrains of Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh and harnessing technology for effective Operations.

Equally commendable has been your operation in Jammu & Kashmir where the Force launched many operations during the last one year. Controlling terrorism effectively, you have put in place Community Action Programmes that enhance your credibility and acceptability. It is a matter of great relief that due to these continuous operations, there is a significant decrease in terrorist activities.

Today, once again, Kashmir is regaining its past glory as a major tourist attraction because of the hard work and sacrifice of CRPF personnel. The peaceful conduct of Shri Amaranth Ji Yatra is yet another testimony of the dexterous professional approach of the Force and its capabilities. I am happy that CRPF has also started a helpline named as ‘Madadgar’ for the people of Jammu and Kashmir which operates 24x7 for providing help in cases of natural calamities, harassment by mischief-mongers, eve-teasing, domestic violence etc. This will further strengthen the bond between the people and the Force.

Sisters and Brothers,

Ballot is infinitely more powerful than the bullet and Terrorism, the enemy of humanity must be rooted out.

You have demonstrated exemplary courage over the years. You have faced innumerable threats to your life bravely. You have done your duty with devotion and determination.

The country is proud of your achievements. We recognize the valiant efforts and the supreme sacrifices you have made. The 1693 Gallantry medals you have been awarded are an eloquent testimony of your professional excellence.

I am pleased that there are 5 women Battalions and Women squads have also been formed for controlling riots.

Sisters and Brothers,

You have enabled peaceful conduct of elections. You have won a number of medals and awards in various National and International Sports events. You have been taking active part in the important national programmes on sanitation and clean environment like Swach Bharat and the ‘Namami Gange’ project. I would like to congratulate Captain Harinadh who got the award in the short film category in a competition organized by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

I am delighted that CRPF is taking part in ‘Digital India’ campaign of our Hon’ble Prime Minister and that in a survey conducted by Intelligence Bureau with the help of National Institute of Electronic and Information Technology, CRPF website was declared the best website.

Sisters and Brothers

You have demonstrated that your Force has the ‘strength’ to fight enemies of humanity but also the ‘heart’ to serve the needy. You have brought the sick and pregnant women to nearby city hospitals, you have held medical camps, imparted vocational training to youths, constructed community centres and provided sports and other utilities items to villagers.

You have been providing security cover for construction of 18 major roads in Chhattisgarh.

Your commitment to accelerate development is indeed laudable. We cannot have progress without peace. Peace is the pre-condition for progress and development.

Through your actions, you create the right conditions for fostering peace and development. Your work strikes fear in lawless hearts and removes the fear from the hearts of law abiding citizens.

Sisters and Brothers,

This day is a day of commemoration, a day of recollection of past glory and a day of reaffirmation of our firm commitment to national security.

I offer you my sincerest greetings and commend you on your outstanding achievements.

I am hopeful that your valour and courage will make our country a more peaceful place in the years to come.

Jai Hind.”