NEW DELHI: In a strong message to China, Nyima Tenzin, a member of the covert Special Frontier Force (SFF) who was killed at Chushul area in eastern Ladakh, was laid to rest in Leh with full military honours on Monday.
Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav along with the local MP were present in the funeral where the mourners waved both Indian and Tibetan flags and held posters extolling the Vikas Battalion (another name of the SFF).
India has never publicly acknowledged the existence of SFF, initially called Establishment 22, which was raised with personnel of Tibetan origin after the 1962 India-China war.
These troopers have participated in the 1971 war, the 1999 Kargil conflict but were never acknowledged officially.
Company Leader Nyima Tenzin was killed in a landmine blast in an operation along the LAC on southern bank of Pangong Tso on the intervening night of August 29-30.
His funeral was held with full military honour where the mortal remains of the SFF trooper were draped in Indian Tricolour and the Tibetan flag.
The shift in New Delhi’s Tibetan policy is conspicuous as the government had in 2018 asked officials and leaders to keep away from events which were being organised to mark the Dalai Lama’s 60 years in exile.
Major General DK Mehta (Retd), a defence analyst, feels India till now did everything to make China comfortable and this included agreeing to the One China Policy and accepting even Tibet as a part of China.
But, he asserted, the time has come to shake the complacency of Chinese.
“It is China which is making roads through the Indian territory occupied by Pakistan.”
“An important message sent through this public demonstration where the political leadership was also present. China cannot take India’s peace moves for granted,” Mehta said.
“This message is stronger than Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent statement for Tibetans to be mainstreamed.”