A Tibetan security personnel of an Indian special forces unit was killed in action during the recent border flare-up with Chinese army on August 30. The details of the circumstances that led to the death of Special Frontier Force Company leader Nyima Tenzin are unknown.
The 53-year-old was killed near the Pangong Tso in the western Himalayas as Indian and Chinese forces came in close confrontation in the area over the weekend.
The Tibetan solder's death is the first reported from two incidents in 48 hours on the border which has escalated tensions between India and China two months after a violent clash claimed at least 20 Indian Army soldiers lives.
The secret and less talked about force is under the direct administrative control of the cabinet secretariat and the PMO, and fights alongside the Indian Army in the most challenging terrains.
Over the years, the SFF has repeatedly shown its valour in various theatres of war.
Widely known as Vikasis, the SFF jawans are trained to fight till the last man standing. 'One day, surely one day, we will teach the Chinese a lesson' says their regimental song.
With tensions escalating along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, the Special Frontier Force or the SFF is back in focus.The force is with nearly 60 years of history. The top-secret guerrilla regiment, also known as Establishment 22, was raised during the Nehru government in 1962, during the war with China.
The unit, now based out of Chakrata in Uttarakhand, was engaged in covert operations behind enemy lines in the Himalayan mountainous terrain. The first recruits in the SFF were some of the guards who had fled Tibet along with the Dalai Lama.
The Indian Intelligence along with the help of Tibetan guerrilla fighters of Chushi Gangdruk raised the secret unit comprising Tibetan refugees in India and the Khampa warriors.
Just a week after this force was raised, China declared ceasefire in the 1962 war. Guerrilla war veteran Major General Sujan Singh Uban was the first Inspector General of the force.
The force played a major role in stopping Pakistani forces at Chhittagong during the Bangladesh war of 1971, Operation Bluestar in 1984, in securing the Siachen glacier in 1984 and the Kargil war against Pakistan in 1999.
Even though, the force is not officially a part of the Indian Army, many officers, including the former Army Chief Dalbir Suhag have spent time with the force on deputation.
Each commando of the unit is trained in mountain warfare, guerrilla warfare, clandestine operations and intelligence gathering among several other skills.
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