Part of the congregation of sikh policemen and soldiers at the Warrior’s Day ‘johd mela’. NSTP/ courtesy of GURMEL SINGH

KUALA LUMPUR: Warrior’s Day is etched forever in the minds of Sikh servicemen and veterans in Malaysia.

They were part of the bastion in the nation’s defence during the trying times of World War Two, the Emergency period and the Confrontation (with Indonesia), which spanned eight decades.

Thus, each year serving and retired Sikh policemen and soldiers of all ranks, jointly gather for a jodh mela to offer thanksgiving prayers at different gurdwara (sikh temple).

It was no different today at the Gurdwara Sahib Pulapol at the Police Training Centre in Jalan Semarak.

About 150 officers and personnel joined their family members for a jodh mela in conjunction with Warrior’s Day, which falls on July 31 each year.

Event organising chairman retired police sergeant-major Gurmel Singh said the congregation was led by resident priest Ravinder Singh.

The sikh policemen and soldiers offering prayers at the Warrior’s Day ‘johd mela’. - NSTP/ courtesy of GURMEL SINGH

“The jodh mela is held as a tribute for the invaluable sacrifices and services of the fallen heroes – the policemen and armed forces personnel who gave their lives in defence of the country.

“Their contributions have ensured that the country remains peaceful and harmonious.

“These were the men and women who fought for our nation’s independence and sovereignty,” said Gurmel, adding that Warrior’s Day also served as a remembrance and awareness for the younger generation not to take peace for granted.

“We want the young to know what we and the nation had gone through,” said Gurmel.

The senior officers present included retired Superintendent Avtar Singh from the federal police headquarters operations centre, and Lt Col (Rtd) Baldev Singh, a former commanding officer of the 6th Battalion Royal Rangers Regiment.

The sikh policemen and soldiers enjoying the vegetarian meal. - NSTP/ courtesy of GURMEL SINGH

Gurmel said the jodh mela began as early as 6.30am and went on for about five hours before the congregation was treated to a vegetarian meal.

“The brotherhood between the police and armed forces can be likened to a coin with the head and tail inseparable!

“We have worked together during the good and bad times, and cherish each other’s support,” he said.