New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Center on a PIL seeking directions to issue the honorific of “martyr” or “shaheed” to paramilitary or police personnel who sacrifice their lives in the line of duty.
A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Deepa Sharma asked the ministries of defense and home affairs and the department of personnel and training to file a reply on the issue within two weeks.
Saying that 31,895 paramilitary personnel sacrificed their lives in the last 53 years in the line of duty, the PIL said the honor of being called a “martyr” or “shaheed” still eludes the troopers and officers of paramilitary and police forces in the country.
The plea was filed by advocate Abhishek Choudhary, who apprised the court that “the personnel of the three armed forces of the country, namely army, navy and air force, are called ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ when they are killed on duty”.
“But the men/women of police and paramilitary forces who are killed in anti-Maoist operations, rendering internal security duties and guarding our borders in extreme conditions are not given the stature of a ‘martyr’,” it said.
“In many places, like along the Pakistan border, paramilitary personnel work along with army men and in Maoist-affected states, they work with air force officials. But in case of death in action, the Central Armed Police Personnel (CAPF) are not accorded ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ status,” the plea said.
Choudhary said honoring them will not only act as a morale booster but also enhance their self-respect.