- Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankar Decorates Gallant Personnel of BSF
New Delhi. 24 May 2023. Today is the day when Indian police forces remember Khusro Faramurz Rustamji, better known as K F Rustamji, the only police officer in India thus far to have been awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award.
In 1965, Rustamji was selected to raise the Border Security Force (BSF). By the time he retired the BSF had a strength of 60,000 men. The BSF played a significant part in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 and in the Liberation of Bangladesh. After retirement from the BSF, he was made Special Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and while in that position, he headed a committee which submitted the report for the formation of the Indian Coast Guard, an organization to patrol the maritime border.
He was responsible for the setting up of the National Police Commission and later became its member from 1978 to 1983. In 1978 he visited the jails in Bihar and wrote about the conditions of the undertrials languishing in the jails for long periods without a trial. His two articles in the national daily, The Indian Express formed the basis for the first Public Interest Litigation (Hussainara Khatoon vs State of Bihar) As a consequence of the judgement in this case, 40,000 undertrials were released all over India.
Today BSF personnel were awarded medals and honoured by Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankar who presided over the 20th BSF Investiture Ceremony as the Chief Guest. Total 35 members of the Force were decorated with medals, in which 02 members were awarded with Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG) and 33 members (including 04 retirees) with Police Medals for Meritorious Service (PMMS). During the ceremony retired DsG/ IsG of BSF, DsG of CAPFs, serving officers from different Ministries of Govt. of India and representatives of print and electronic media were in attendance with BSF fraternity today.
The Investiture Ceremony is a momentous occasion marking the deep seated affection and respect for the first Director General of BSF, Padma Vibhushan K F Rustamji. BSF has been organizing the Investiture Ceremony on occasion of the birthday of K F Rustamji since 2003.
Welcoming the Chief Guest, eminent personalities and all those present at the venue for the occasion, DG BSF Dr Sujoy Lal thansen first paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Force who made the supreme sacrifice for the motherland at the altar of duty. Emphasizing the constant endeavour of the Force in preparing itself in terms of strategy, infrastructure, weaponry and training, DG BSF referred specifically to the various operational achievements by alert Seema Praharis while thwarting the nefarious designs of Anti-National Elements. The Director General also spoke about the ‘Soldierly traits and Visionary Leadership Skills’ of first Director General, Padma Vibhushan K F Rustamji who is popularly referred to as “Founding Father of BSF”.
Vice President also delivered the Rustamji Memorial Lecture. Speaking on the occasion, Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankar paid glowing tributes to the brave BSF personnel who have laid down their lives in the line of sacred duty in protecting the nation, along with those who have made the Force and the country proud with their operational performances despite the challenging work conditions. Vice President also highlighted the exceptional role of BSF in upholding the sovereignty of the Nation by effectively ensuring the sanctity of the International Border as well as various deployment scenarios of Internal Security.
Describing K F Rustamji as a charismatic leader, VP said that he not only set up the BSF but also laid the firm foundations of the Public Interest Litigation in the Indian Judicial System. Under his guidance, BSF evolved into a modern, disciplined and capable force, he noted. Mentioning that Rustamji was a member of the first ever National Police Commission (NCP) set up in 1977, Dhankhar said that, “the need for NPC was felt because the largest democracy on the earth was visited by a dark era of emergency in 1975, that saw a large scale human rights violations, debacle of Institutions, something which the founding fathers of the Constitution never imagined. A large number of people were put behind the bars & they had no access to the judiciary…”
Praising Rustamji for the phenomenon of judicial activism in India, Shri Dhankhar said that he laid ground to India’s the first Public Interest Litigation case, Hussainara Khatoon vs State of Bihar which led to the release of 40,000 undertrials all over India who had been languishing in jails much beyond the maximum permissible period. “If he had sat quietly, those people would have continued to languish in jails. But he tried and succeeded. I state further, never hesitate to try, a failure is only a step towards success,” VP added.
Vice President of India awarded medals to the following BSF Personnel:
Police Medal for Gallantry
- CT Anand Oraon
- HC Sunder Singh
Police Medal For Meritorious Service
- Sh Sandeep Chanan, DIG
- Sh Kanwaljeet Singh, DIG
- Sh Sanjay Kumar, Commandant
- Sh Diwakar Kumar, Commandant
- Sh Virendra Pal Singh, Commandant
- Sh Vipin Kumar Yadav, Commandant
- Sh Sanjeev Kumar, Commandant
- Sh Rajesh Kumar Yadav, Commandant
- Sh Varunendra Pratap Singh, Second-in-Command
- Sh Varinder Kumar, Second-in-Command (Electrical)
- Sh Shiv Kumar Mishra, Deputy Commandant
- Sh Yatendra Singh Nagar, Deputy Commandant
- Sh Anil Kumar Srivastav, Deputy Commandant
- Sh Yashpal Singh Chauhan, Deputy Commandant
- Sh Jitendra Singh Khatak, Deputy Commandant PPS
- Sh Chandradeep Rai, Assistant Commandant (Works)
- Inspector Ajit Singh
- Sub Inspector S Nanda Kumar
- Sub Inspecrtor Rajinder Singh
- Sub Inspector (RO) Kartik Chandra Das
- Sub Inspector Bikram Singh
- ASI (RO) Chedi Lal Mishra
- ASI (GD) Dilip Kumar Biswas
- ASI Avtar Singh
- ASI Narendra Singh
- ASI Krishan Lal
- CT Makan Singh
- CT WM Ram Jenish Baitha
- CT WC Naresh Prasad Singh
- Sh Baljeet Singh Assistant Commandant (Min) (Retd)
- Smt Mercy Thomas DAO (Retd)
- Inspector (RO) (Retd) Ram Avtar
- Sub Inspector (Retd) Ramesh Sharma
BSF has various active roles during an outbreak of war. It is the only CAPF to have a navy, air wing and an artillery regiment. It is under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The BSF has its own small force of officers or “Cadre”. However, its head, designated as a Director-General (DG), has been an Indian Police Service officer since its establishment. The BSF has grown exponentially from 25 battalions in 1965, to 192 battalions with a sanctioned strength of 270,000 personnel including an expanding air wing, navy, an artillery regiment and specialized units. It is currently the world’s largest and most powerful border security force. BSF has been termed the First Line of Defence of Indian territories.