Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday presented the prestigious President’s Colours to the Tamil Nadu police and said it is a recognition of the State police’s commendable service and many achievements.
In a ceremony, Naidu presented the Colours to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin. Naidu, in his address, said:
“It is indeed a proud moment for every Tamilian and I feel very happy and privileged to bestow this honour on Tamil Nadu police on behalf of the supreme commander of the armed forces of India.” Stalin said the Tamil Nadu police has got the highest recognition by receiving the President’s Colours and it is a honour for not only the Police Department but also the entire State.
The Chief Minister, pointing to a dip in custodial deaths from 17 in 2018 to 4 in 2021, asked the Police Department to create a situation of no custodial deaths.
“I only said that it has come down. I did not say that there are absolutely no custodial deaths.” The President’s Colours is the highest honour bestowed upon any Military/ State police in recognition of its exceptional service of at least 25 years to the nation. The Colours acknowledges the spirit of bravery, courage, commitment, professionalism, integrity, and service to humanity. It is known by many names such as Ensign, Flag, Standards, or Colours. It is popularly called “Rashtrapati ka Nishan”. In 2009, Tamil Nadu had received the prestigious President’s Colours, a police release said.
Naidu said the award is a recognition of Tamil Nadu police’s commendable service and many achievements. “My heartiest congratulations to all members of Tamil Nadu police. This is a recognition of your dedication, professionalism, selfless service and sacrifice.” The Vice- President said Tamil Nadu has the highest number of women police stations and the second highest number of women police personnel in the country. It also holds the distinction of establishing the first women commando force in the country. “These are praiseworthy achievements towards our goals of gender parity and equal rights for all women.” He urged the police to be extra sensitive on matters relating to crimes against women. An emerging area of concern is a sharp rise in incidents of cybercrime and other modern-day offences such as online frauds and transboundary crimes. “Our police forces must be skilled and equipped to deal with these 21st century crimes in an effective and speedy manner,” the Vice-President said.
Tamil Nadu is the only State in the country to have an exclusive Idol Wing, a unit dedicated to investigating into cases of theft or loss of cultural artefacts such as idols, paintings and other treasures of the nation’s heritage.
“Recently, the Idol Wing retrieved ten priceless antique idols belonging to the State from the USA and Australia. This is commendable work,”, he said. “This is my last visit to Chennai as the Vice-President of India, but the boundless love and warmth of the people of Tamil Nadu will keep beckoning me to this place,” Naidu said.
Stalin gave the President’s Colours to Director General of Police C Sylendra Babu and on the occasion, police personnel marched briskly in a colourful parade held at Rajarathinam Stadium here. Stalin said Tamil Nadu is a forerunner in women empowerment vis-a-vis the Police Department and it was former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who made it possible. He recalled the appointment of 22 women police personnel including a sub-inspector in 1973 during the DMK regime. Today, there are 20,000 women police personnel, a DGP (Director General) 2 ADGPs (Additional DG), and 14 IGs (Inspector General), he said.
The President’s Colours is a recognition of services rendered by police personnel during the past 160 years. The Police Department was established in 1856 in Chennai, then known as Madras and in 1859 a police Act for the city was enacted, the Chief Minister said. “Hence our police department is a pioneer for several Indian cities.” The Chief Minister, referring to the setting up of the fourth police commission headed by retired judge of Madras High Court Justice CT Selvam, assured police personnel that several measures would be initiated for their welfare after getting the panel’s recommendations.
Crime prevention should be the goal rather than reducing them. Those involved in sexual harassment and offences under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act must be arrested immediately and swift action must be taken, he said.
“This (President’s Colours) is a matter of pride for police personnel and all of them, starting from Director General to constable would all be presented a police medal,” he said.