The Tibetans serving in ‘secretive’ Indian force


For decades, India has recruited Tibetan refugees to a covert unit dedicated to high-altitude combat. But the recent death of a soldier in the force has put the spotlight on this unit, reports the BBC’s Aamir Peerzada.

A photograph of Nyima Tenzin was kept in the corner of his house, surrounded by warm light spilling from oil lamps. The hum of prayers continued in the next room, where family members, relatives and Buddhist monks were chanting.

Days earlier, the 51-year-old soldier had died in a landmine blast near Pangong Tso Lake in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese troops have been facing off in recent months. Sources in the Indian army told the BBC that he was killed by an old mine left from the 1962 war the two countries fought.

“On 30 August, around 10:30 in the night, I got a call, saying he was injured,” Tenzin’s brother, Namdakh, recalled. “They did not tell me that he had died. A friend confirmed the news to me later.”

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