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Assam Rifles escorted Dalai Lama 65 yrs ago

Since the escape, the Dalai Lama has been living in Dharamshala.

Screenshot 2024 03 31 105947NEW DELHI: As the escape of the 14th Dalai Lama to India from his homeland Tibet completes 65 years on Saturday, the Assam Rifles, which was entrusted with his safe evacuation, recalled its continued association with the spiritual leader.

The 5th battalion of the Assam Rifles was given the task of bringing in the Dalai Lama and his entourage safely through the North East Frontier Agency, now Arunachal Pradesh, to Assam as they entered Indian territory on March 31, 1959. The 5th battalion was deployed in Kameng Frontier Division of Arunachal Pradesh in 1958.

“The legacy of the 5th Assam Rifles’ escort of the Dalai Lama in 1959 remains a poignant chapter in the shared history of India and Tibet, symbolising the enduring spirit of friendship, support and humanitarianism,” the paramilitary force said in a statement.

Since the escape, the Dalai Lama has been living in Dharamshala. As a token of appreciation, the Dalai Lama presented his personal weapons to the 5th Assam Rifles. These weapons are displayed at the Assam Rifles Museum in Shillong as mementos. He also bestowed on them his blessings.

“May your luck increase to the size of a mountain. May your fame be such as to cover the whole sky. May your knowledge become vast and deep as the sea; long and healthy lives to you and hope your Work for others will be a success,” the Dalai Lama said.

As news of the Dalai Lama’s escape spread, the Indian government responded by dispatching a contingent of 5th Assam Rifles to ensure his safe passage into the country.

On March 31, the spiritual leader was received by the party of the 5th Assam Rifles and the people of Monyulat at the Frontier Post of Chuthangmu in Kameng Division.

He was escorted by the paramilitary force through Tawang, Bomdila and then to Tezpur, from where he proceeded further into the country.

Following the Dalai Lama’s forced exile to India, the frontier posts of Chuthangmu, Bumla and Chuna saw a mass ingress of armed Tibetan refugees called ‘Khampas’, and the 5th Assam Rifles thereafter escorted approximately 12,000 refugees through the Kameng Frontier Division.

During visit to Guwahati in April 2017, the Dalai Lama recalled his evacuation from Tibet and met Havildar Naren Chandra Das (retired) of Assam Rifles, who had escorted him in 1959. The Dalai Lama embraced the old soldier and reminisced the vexatious times. The Dalai Lama praised and blessed the Assam Rifles for their selfless service to the nation.

Forces blessed

During visit to Guwahati in April 2017, the Dalai Lama recalled his evacuation from Tibet and met Havildar Naren Chandra Das (retired) of Assam Rifles, who had escorted him in 1959. The Dalai Lama embraced the old soldier and reminisced the vexatious times. The Dalai Lama praised and blessed the Assam Rifles for their selfless service to the nation. He was escorted by the paramilitary force through Tawang, Bomdila and then to Tezpur, from where he proceeded further into the country.

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