This article by the Devesh [guest Author] is about the 1967 India-China war that is underrated to date.
China believed that since they had defeated us in 1962, we would not be a match to their military might ever.
Yes, it was a defeat, but it was the defeat for the then political top brass headed by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and not the military which fought like lions despite being outnumbered and outgunned.
Time and again, we have heard about the unfortunate 1962 India-China war which India lost but most of us have no clue about the Indo-Sino war in 1967.
China used the ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’ slogan to hit from behind and took a lot of our land in 1962. In 1967, true to their deceptive nature, they tried again to forcefully occupy Nathu La and Cho La passes.
Nathu La at 14200 feet is an important pass on Tibet – Sikkim border through which passes the old Gangtok – Yatung – Lhasa Trade Route.
Although Sikkim – Tibet boundary is well defined by the Anglo – Chinese convention of 17 March 1890, the Chinese did not like Sikkim being a protectorate of India at that time and the Indian Army being deployed there.
During the 1965 War between India & Pakistan, the Chinese, in order to pressurize India, gave an ultimatum to India to vacate both Nathu La and Jelep La passes on Sikkim – Tibet border.
For some strange reason, 27 Mountain Division, under whose jurisdiction Jelep La was at that time, vacate the Pass which remains under Chinese possession to date.
Siliguri corridor factor;
The corridor is extremely important for India because it runs its rail and road networks towards the North East through it.
This allows it to sustain the armed forces posted in the North East which will form an important piece of the puzzle should a conflict arise between India and China in the region.
China wants to get as close to the Siliguri corridor as it can because then it gets the option of cutting off the North East from the rest of India.
The total number of Indian casualties in both Nathu La and Cho La incidents stand at 88 while 163 were wounded. China lost around 400 soldiers and was left with 450 wounded.
The morning of 11 September 1967dawned with bright sunshine, unlike the normal foggy days. 70 fields Company Engineers assisted by Jawans of the company of 18 RAJPUT started erecting long iron pickets from Nathu La to Sebu La along the perceived border while 2 GRENADIERS and Artillery Observation Post Officers at Sebu La and Camel’s back were on alert.
Immediately the Chinese Political Commissar, with a section of infantry came to the center of the Pass where Lt. Col. Rai Singh CO 2 GRENADIERS was standing with his commando platoon. The Commissar asked Lt. Col Rai Singh to stop laying the wire.
Orders to the Indian Army were clear. They were NOT to blink. An argument started which soon built up into a scuffle. In the ensuing melee, the commissar got roughed up. Thereafter the Chinese went up back to their bunkers and engineers resumed laying the wire.
A memorial was instilled at the place where the brave soldiers of 2 Grenadiers fought bravely to protect our motherland. We salute the soldiers who sacrificed their everything so we can live safely today.
This is just not the only fight that the Indian army fought against China, the story of the brave soldiers of Rezang La (Ladakh) will move you to the core. We are indebted to our soldiers and that shall remain forever.
Maha Vir Chakra
- Brigadier Rai Singh Yadav (2nd Grenadiers)
- Lieutenant Colonel Mahatam Singh (10 JAK Rifles)
- Major Harbhajan Singh (P) (Rajput Regiment)
- Captain Prithi Singh Dagar (P) (2nd Grenadiers)
- Havaldar Lakhmi Chand (P) (2nd Grenadiers)
- Sepoy Gokal Singh (Rajput Regiment)
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The 1967 India-China war: images- Internet
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