Twenty-three Delhi Cops personnel have been awarded Police Medals for their service on the event of the 75th Independence Day, officials said on Saturday.
Out of them, six — then DCP Amit Sharma (currently posted as SP, Daman), then ACP Anuj Kumar (presently posted as SP, Diu) and Head Constable Rattan Lal (posthumously), Constables Pradeep Sharma, Mohit Kumar and Naveen — have been bestowed the Police Medal for Gallantry for their aspiring courage, presence of mind and gallantry shown in a critical situation during the Northeast Delhi riots, they mentioned. apart from them, Joint Commissioner of Police Tusar Taba and Sub Inspector Chacko VC have been awarded the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, while Additional Commissioners of Police Rajneesh Gupta and Rajeev Ranjan, DCP Vikram Kapali Porwal, DCP Ajay Pal Singh, DCP Sushil Kumar Singh, Additional DCP Govind are among 15 officers who have been conferred Police Medal for Meritorious Service, according to the officials.
On February 24, 2020, vicious clashes emerged between two communities near Maujpur Chowk in northeast Delhi, with mobs indulging in heavy stone pelting leading to riots. Per the police, Amit Sharma who was then deployed as Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara), was at a protest site at Chand Bagh Mazar to assure no traffic movement was disturbed on Wazirabad Road but since there were heavy gathering, ACP Gokalpuri Anuj Kumar arrived there along with staff to help the DCP. When the mob soared to around 30,000 and spread upto Brijpuri T-point.
Sharma and his officers tried to pacify them, requesting them to remain at the protest site, but they started spilling over on Wazirabad Road in a bellicose manner. Abruptly, a crowd assembled around the police party and started pelting stones, they said. Remembering the incident a year later, Sharma said he had taken a purposeful decision to not move from the location under any circumstances.
PM Modi was meeting Ex-US president Donald Trump in the national capital then. “I was very clear that we would not shoot as I had women and children in front of me, even though they were later utilized as a shield to assault us. My operator Naveen and I remained there, we were hardly 40 cops… and brutality shaped in narrow streets as crowds started throwing stones and attacking locals…
My skull was fractured and Naveen was also severely wounded ,” Sharma said. “But when I fell unconscious, Constables Pradeep Sharma and Mohit showed outstanding courage. I still recall how they managed to rescue me from the crowd and take me to a hospital amid violence,” he said. Head Constable Rattan Lal who was helping ACP Gokal Puri during the fights was struck by a bullet fired from the crowd and died, police said. Lal is succeeded by his wife Poonam who lives with their three kids in north Delhi’s Burari. “I am extremely proud that my husband is getting a medal but we would have been happier had he got it when he was alive. No prize is bigger for me than my husband. Regrettably, he is dead but I’m glad people still memorize him for his service,” she said.