(TibetanReview.net, Jan26’21) – In an open acknowledgement of the previously secretive Special Frontier Force (SFF), which is made up mostly of Tibetans living in the country, a Tibetan soldier’s valour has been recognised for operations against Chinese aggression in Ladakh as India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day on Jan 26.
Tsering Norbu was named under Mention-in-Despatches category, a gallantry recognition for his role in Operation Snow Leopard – the ongoing Indian Army action in Eastern Ladakh, reported indiatoday.in Jan 26.
He was stated to be among 54 others to be rewarded under the category for Operation Snow Leopard.
The SFF was formed after the 1962 Sino-Indian war. It has been part of operations during the 1971 India-Pakistan war for the liberation of Bangladesh, the Kargil conflict in 1999 and many other important missions.
The report noted that during the ongoing operations in Ladakh, the SFF has been at the forefront part of operations against Chinese belligerence.
SFF Company Leader Nyima Tenzin died on Aug 30, 2020 in a land mine blast in an operation on the south bank of Pangong Lake. And when he was laid to rest in a funeral attended by the Tibetan community’s Indian Army officers in Leh, it was perhaps the first public acknowledgement of the secret force, the report noted.
The report said that among other gallantry awards for Ladakh operations, one Mahavir Chakra, 5 Vir Chakras, 15 Sena Medals and several mention-in-despatches gallantry awards were announced on the eve of the Republic Day.
The report noted that in a population of 7500 Tibetans living in Ladakh, close to 1500 were either veterans or still serving the army as part of SFF.