Andhra Pradesh

‘Fight against COVID-19 pandemic similar to 1959 Chinese ambush’

Family members paying homage to personnel who laid down their lives fighting the pandemic, at the Police Martyrs Memorial on Beach Road in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

There are a lot of similarities in the way a police team went down fighting the Chinese at the Hot Springs in the Chang Chenmo Valley in Ladakh on October 21, 1959, and how the force suffered heavy casualties in its fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Commissioner of Police Manish Kumar Sinha said.

“The police team that was ambushed by the Chinese did not have proper clothing, weapons, food or logistical support. Similarly, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, we did not have enough medicines or vaccines, but even then the police force was at the forefront,” Mr. Sinha said while addressing a large gathering of police personnel and their family members on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day at the Police Martyrs’ Memorial on Beach Road on Thursday.

The Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on October 21 to honour the policemen who laid down their lives defending the borders of the nation.

On October 21, 1959, a team of 20 policemen was ambushed by the Chinese forces at Hot Springs. The Chinese were not only superior in numbers but were perched at a higher altitude, and equipped with superior weaponry. Nine jawans were killed at the spot while one succumbed to his injuries later, and the remaining were taken prisoners.

Drawing comparisons with that incident, Mr. Sinha said that the police force continued to work in a similar atmosphere of uncertainty. While the force fought to preserve the country’s territorial integrity then, they fought to save human lives now, he said.

“Only ten personnel were killed then, and their families bereaved. In comparison, the magnitude is much greater now as the entire police force across the country was affected,” the Commissioner said.

During the first wave of COVID-19, 25% of the City Police had contracted the virus, and four personnel succumbed to it. During the second wave, 10% of the force contracted the virus and four personnel died. Every policeman who fought against the pandemic is a warrior, the Commissioner said.

After laying a wreath at the Martyrs Memorial, Mr. Sinha spoke about the initiatives launched by the City Police such as the Pre-Litigation Counselling Forum (PLCF(, Disha, and Pehera. The City Police have launched 14 people-centric initiatives in the last year, he said.

He also urged policemen to familiarise themselves with technology as the force is on a reinvention mode. The future belongs to technology and the work of a policeman will become multidimensional and multifarious, he said.

DIG (Visakhapatnam Range) L.K.V. Ranga Rao, Superintendent of Police B. Krishna Rao, and other senior officers attended the programme.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 9:53:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/fight-against-covid-19-pandemic-similar-to-1959-chinese-ambush/article37118279.ece

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