Following the dawn of Independence in 1947, the people of India through their elected representatives have been engaged in the noble task of nation building. However, from the very beginning, India has faced challenges to its unity and territorial integrity from both external and internal sources. Besides fighting four wars in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999 with Pakistan and in 1962 with China, India has also faced a large number of serious challenges to its internal security which include insurgency and militancy in the North-Eastern States, Pak inspired terrorism both in the J&K and in the hinterland and due to the activities of Left Wing Extremist elements, who have been active in several States of the country.
From the very beginning, the Police forces of the country have displayed exemplary dedication to duty and have spared no sacrifice in tackling the challenges to the internal security of the country from terrorist, militants, organised criminals, dacoits and other anti-social elements. From 1947 onwards till date more than 34,000 Policemen have laid down their lives at the altar of duty while protecting the life and property of ordinary citizens, maintaining public order and in combating terrorism, militants and extremists of various hues.
The National Police Memorial in India commemorates the 34,844 police personnel from all of the central and state police forces in India who have died in the line of duty since the nation's Independence in 1947. Located in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri area, the 6.12 acres (2.48 hectares) memorial consists of a 30-foot (9.1-metre) tall and 238-tonne (234-long-ton; 262-short-ton) heavy black granite central sculpture, a museum and a 'Wall of Valour' bearing the names of all 34,844 police personnel who have died in the line of duty. The underground museum is the first police museum of its kind in India, and showcases over 2000 years of policing in the region, since the time of Kautilya's system of law and order in 310 BCE. The renovated and refurbished memorial and museum was inaugurated by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, on 21 October 2018, which is also the Police Commemoration Day (Police Martyr's Day) in India.
The National Police Memorial commemorates the police personnel whose lives were lost in the fight against terrorism, militancy and insurgency in states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and red corridor-affected regions in India. The memorial also commemorates the large number of police lives which were lost in prevention of crime and in maintenance of law and order. The memorial was first conceptualised in 1984, but the plan to have a National Police Memorial was only first proposed when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister. The home minister at the time, L. K. Advani, laid the foundation stone. The earlier memorial was a 150 ft (46 m) structure of steel. But it was dismantled in 2008 on the order of the Delhi High Court as it violated environmental norms.
The central sculpture is a 30 ft (9 m) monolith made of a slab of granite weighing 238 tonnes. The weight and colour "symbolise the gravitas and solemnity of the supreme sacrifice". At the base of the structure, a 60 ft (18 m) river represents the continuous self-service of the police personnel in carrying out their duties. The central memorial sculpture has been designed by Advaita Gadanayak of the National Gallery of Modern Art
Designed as part of the overall design scheme by Uday Bhat Architect The names of all the 34,844 personnel who died in the line of duty from 1947 to present day are engraved on the granite, including 424 who died in 2018.