LAHORE - The Punjab Police on Friday marked the Police Martyrs Day by holding special ceremonies, candlelight vigils and rallies across the province.

August 4 is marked as National Police Martyrs Day across the country every year to remember the sacrifices of policemen.

Authorities spread a massive security blanket in big cities as public representatives and civil society joined hands to pay tributes to police officers who lost their lives fighting terrorists and criminals over the last decade.

Special ceremonies were held at all district, regional and provincial police headquarters. Officers visited graveyards in Lahore on Friday morning to offer prayers and pay homage to martyrs. They also laid wreaths at the graves of their colleagues.

In Lahore, the main ceremony was held at Alhamra Hall. A large number of people, top police officers, relatives of the martyrs and community leaders and activists attended the ceremony.

Speaking on this occasion, Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan paid rich tributes to the officers who died in the line of duty. “I salute all martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, to save lives, honour and properties of citizens,” he said. “It is a matter of honour and pride for me that I am commander of a force, which is heir to more than 1,400 martyrs.”

The provincial police officer said that a DIG rank officer was available at the Central Police Office to look after welfare of the families of the martyrs and solve their problems at their doorstep. Similarly, a DSP rank officer is working at the district level to facilitate martyrs’ families, he said.

The Lahore Police has launched a mobile phone app “Welfare Eye” to stay in touch and solve problems of families of police martyrs. “We are replicating this app model throughout the Punjab province,” the officer announced.

Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada also attended the ceremony as chief guest. Paying tributes to police martyrs, he said, “I am son of a martyr and I feel proud.” He said that people and the police would fight together to eliminate terrorism from the country.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains said that history of Lahore Police was full of sacrifices. “Once again, we assure (people) that every officer and official of the Punjab Police is ready to sacrifice his life to protect people’s lives, honour and properties.”

He said that no less than 300 officers and officials of Lahore Police lost their lives in the line of duty. He said that desperate terrorists were targeting policemen who were fighting them bravely.

Children and relatives of the martyrs and members of the civil society also addressed the ceremony and paid tributes to martyrs.

On Friday morning, Holy Quran was recited and prayers were offered for martyrs at the Police Lines, Qila Gujjar Singh. Punjab Police IG Arif Nawaz Khan offered Fateha and laid flowers at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada at the Police Lines, Qila Gujjar Singh. A police contingent also presented a guard of honour on this occasion. Early in the morning, police officers in all districts visited graves of the martyrs and offered Fateha.

A police spokesman said that all RPOs and DPOs arranged special ceremonies on the eve of the National Police Martyrs Day throughout Punjab to pay tributes and highlight the sacrifices.  Separately, Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Khalil Tahir Sandhu paid tributes to police martyrs. He said, “Peace is being restored due to great sacrifices of martyrs.” “During the last 10 years, some 3,000 police personnel died in the line of duty across Pakistan,” he said.

Motorway police’s salute to martyrs

The National Highways and Motorways Police on Friday observed Police Martyrs Day to remember the police officers who died in the line of duty. Special prayers, ceremonies, candlelight vigils and walks were held to highlight the sacrifices of martyrs.

The main ceremony was held at the Zonal Headquarters in Lahore. Officers laid wreaths at the graves of martyrs at different places. DIG Mirza Faran Baig, SSP Masroor Alam Kolachi, motorway police officers and families of martyrs attended the ceremonies.

Addressing the ceremony, DIG Mirza Faran Baig said that Motorway Police martyrs were exceptionally courageous officers, pride of the country and bright stars for the department.

Earlier, the DIG laid wreaths at the memorial of martyrs at Motorways Police Lines in Lahore. Sector Commander SSP Masroor Alam Kolachi also paid tribute to martyrs. Special gifts and shields were distributed to heirs of martyrs on this occasion.

ASHRAF JAVED