The world has witnessed the valour and might of the Indian Army many times, whenever Indian borders have been challenged. The army has proved that the heroic sons of Mother India will not tolerate such challenges at any cost. The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is an integral part of the army. The Special Frontier Force has shown its might on every front.
Indian Army Intelligence Battalion
The Thakung and Kala Top peaks on the southern bank of Pagong Lake were captured by the Special Frontier Force of the Indian Army. The Chinese were not allowed to dominate and India is holding at an advantageous position thanks to Special Frontier Force action. There are many such stories of SFF bravery.
It is the intelligence battalion of the Indian Army. Special Frontier Force (SFF) unit is deployed from Uttarakhand to Ladakh on some major high-altitude fronts of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) along the Chinese border.
How Special Frontier Force Was Formed?
In November 1962, after the Indo-China border war, Director of Intelligence Bureau BN Mullick decided to recruit some Tibetan soldiers. At that time the Tibetan guerrilla movement was active and many soldiers and some officers were in Kalimpong or Darjeeling in West Bengal. Malik made contact with the Dalai Lama’s elder brother Gyalo Thondup.
Over the next few months, he recruited Tibetans from among the refugees who came to India after 1959. At that time he had six-seven thousand Tibetans, who wanted to go back to Tibet and free them from Chinese occupation. A group of recruits went to various Tibetan settlements and every young Tibetan was eager to fight for Tibet but that objective never materialized.
Tibetan armies never fought against China. In this way, the Special Frontier Force was formed soon after the Sino-Indian War of 1962. It recruited only Tibetans and was initially known as the 22 Battalion. It was named the 22 Battalion because it was formed by Major General Sujan Singh Uban, the Artillery Officer of the 22 Mountain Regiment and he was the first Inspector General of the SFF. Now, along with Tibetans, Gurkhas are also being recruited.
Battalion Comes Under The Cabinet Secretariat
Over time, the Special Frontier Force became under the Indian Army and was named the Development Battalion. This battalion now comes under the purview of the Cabinet Secretariat, where it is headed by an Inspector General (Security), an Army officer of the rank of Major General. DGS is now part of India’s external intelligence agency RAW. The units included in the SFF are known as the Development Battalion. Former Army Chief General Dalbir Singh has led it once upon a time while in his service.
Are SFF Units A Part of The Army?
The reality is that SFF units are not part of the army but they function under the army. These units have their rank structures but are equal to the ranks of the army. Battalion personnel is so highly trained that they can perform a variety of tasks that a ‘Special Force Unit’ is normally capable of doing. Therefore SFF units function as any other army unit in operational areas despite having a separate charter and history. They have their training institute, where special forces are trained in SFF.
Incidentally, women soldiers also form part of these units and perform special tasks. SFF units have also taken part in several covert operations. These include the 1971 war with Pakistan, Operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple Amritsar, the Kargil conflict, and the counter-terrorism operations in the country. Apart from this, many other operations cannot be disclosed.
Helped The Indian Army In 1971 War Also
SFF units neutralized the Pakistani Army in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1971 and helped the Indian Army advance. The code name of this operation was ‘Operation Eagle’. Members of the battalion risked going into enemy areas and destroyed the communication system of the Pakistani Army. He also played an important role in preventing Pakistani army personnel from Bangladesh fleeing into Burma (now Myanmar).