Policemen are like curry leaves – essential during the cooking process, but are the first to be removed from the food before eating, said Vishwanath Pundith, who retired as a Deputy Superintendent of Police last year. He was describing the state of retired policemen who are “forgotten” after service is extracted from them.

Considering that the analogy has “held true” through his 31 years of service, Mr. Pundith said he was “surprised”, and “filled with gratitude” during the Police Flag Day ceremony on Tuesday where the district police, city commissionerate and the Karnataka State Reserve Police felicitated 61 policemen, who had similarly retired since the April last year.

“When a person retires from the force, he is generally forgotten. But this time, they called us to honour us. I haven’t seen anything like this before,” he exclaimed during his address.

Mr. Pundith advised the young police cadre to control their anger and exhorting older policemen to stay in physical shape as “many” have had to retire early due to bad health. The Flag Day saw the launch of police flag stickers, and the collections from the sale of these will go to the Policemen’s Welfare Fund – for retired, in-service policemen and their families. It is through this fund that that over Rs. 1.5 lakh was given to children of policemen for their education, or more than Rs. 10.8 lakh for Arogya Bhagya.

Inspector General of Police (Western Range) C.H. Pratap Reddy, said eight people from the range will be given the Chief Minister’s Medal. They include four persons from the district – Madan Gaonkar, Police Inspector, Ullal Police Station; Sanjeeva Purusha, District Crime Intelligence Bureau; Naina Sriyan, Mangalore City Traffic Police; and Shiva Naik, City Armed Reserve, Mangalore.

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