The Tibetan Special Forces later came to be known as the Special Frontier Force and they helped India win the 1971 war. They have always been Unsung Heroes for India. Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare explores how they fought a war that was not theirs, they fought for a cause that was not theirs, they fought for a nation they did not belong to.
They remained unknown. Unknown to even Indian Army Generals. Their voices remained unheard and their dead bodies removed in a blink. Abhinav Khare deep dives into the night of November 14, 1971, when the Tibetan Special Forces, marched in and resisted the Pakistani Army so that the Indian Army could march into Bangladesh (the then East Bengal) without any resistance.
They fought a war that was not theirs, they fought for a cause that was not theirs, they fought for a nation they did not belong to. The Tibetan Special Forces later came to be known as the Special Frontier Force and they helped India win the 1971 war. They ended up losing 49 of their men and around 190 were wounded in this war. Yet, this heroic saga is now forgotten.
This special frontier force was trained by India in Chakrata, Uttar Pradesh and was sent to Bangladesh. Their main objective was to ensure that Indian Army gets an uninterrupted access to the East Pakistan land.
On October 1971, 3000 Tibetans were airlifted to Demagiri which is a place at the India-East Pakistan border. The Special Frontier Force was tasked with organising Guerilla Raids to help the Indian Army advance. By the time the war was officially declared, the Tibetan troops were settled in Bangladesh for over three weeks. In fact, such was their valour that the Indian Commander, Major General SS Uban later commented, "They were unstoppable."
For their unfathomable contribution in taking over Chittagong, the Indian Government gave monetary rewards to the 580 members of SFF. But, none could be done in front of public eyes owing to the secrecy of the mission. SFF has continued to support India in its many missions like Siachen, Kargil and several anti-terrorist operations in many parts of the country. They are even guarding Siachen and many say they have also helped us in capturing Tiger Hill.
They have always been Unsung Heroes for India. Exiled from their homeland, they give their all for that one nation who has sheltered them when the world turned its back!
Last Updated 8:08 PM IST