Gallantry Award Turns Focus On ‘Secret Force’ Of Tibetans In Ladakh

New Delhi: In a rare acknowledgement of the Special Frontier Force (SFF), a secret unit comprising Tibetans living in India, a soldier’s valour has been recognised for operations against Chinese aggression in Ladakh.

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.

Norbu is among 54 others to be rewarded under the category for Operation Snow Leopard, India Today reported.

Tibetans living in India have been part of the secret SFF, which was not talked about much till now. However, during ongoing border tussle in Ladakh, SFF has been at the forefront of operations against Chinese belligerence, bringing them in the public glare.

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 Republic Day.

The force was formed after the 1962 India-China war. Since then, this unit has been part of operations during the 1971 war against Pakistan, Operation Meghdoot in 1984 to occupy Siachen Glacier, the Kargil conflict in 1999 and many other important missions.

In a population of 7,500 Tibetans in Ladakh, close to 1,500 are either veterans or still serving the army as part of SFF.

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