SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE-ESTABLISHMENT NO. 22-VIKAS REGIMENT CELEBRATES THE LOHIT RIVER

This is my special tribute to Lohit River and I post this blog to remember my life’s journey; a journey from 1962 to 1972.

During 1962, I was a student at Giriraj Government Arts College, Nizamabad, Andhra Pradesh, India and I was studying in the First Year of a 3-Year Bachelor of Science Degree Course. During October 1962, when China attacked India across the Himalayan Frontier, Indian people spontaneously reacted condemning the act of Chinese aggression. It gave me a strong motivation to serve the country to defend the Northern Frontier. My dream came true during 1969 when I was granted Short Service Regular Commission to join the Indian Army Medical Corps. On completion of my basic military and professional training, I was deputed to Special Frontier Force and I had the proudest moment of my life when I visited the War Memorial in Walong, Lohit District, North-East Frontier Agency(NEFA) during 1972. I got married during January 1973, while I was serving in the North-East Frontier Agency and Lohit River is my witness to my Life’s Journey and Commitment.

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE - LOHIT RIVER: Map of Anjaw District, Arunachal Pradseh State, India.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the LOHIT RIVER: Map of Anjaw District, Arunachal Pradesh State, India.

I am pleased to share an article titled ‘China opens a new highway near Arunachal Pradesh Border’ written by Ananth Krishnan that was published in the HINDU on November 01, 2013. I served in that area and the military organization in which I served discouraged photography and I did not take photos of the natural scenery of that area. I would like to share some photo images published by http://GreenerPasturesInd.Wordpress.com and others, particularly the images of Lohit River that flows down the Anjaw District of Arunachal Pradesh.

The North-East Frontier Agency(NEFA) was constituted in 1912-13. To settle the border between India and Tibet, Sir Henry McMahon, Secretary in the Indian Foreign Department represented Great Britain at a conference held in Simla during 1913-14. The Simla Accord or Simla Agreement between India, Tibet, and China resulted in the McMahon Treaty and the McMahon Line established the official border between India and Tibet. India after gaining her independence and after becoming an independent Republic has ratified the McMahon Treaty. The People’s Republic of China which came into existence on October 01, 1949 opposed this Treaty and occupied Tibet during 1950 rejecting the status of Tibet of being an independent nation.

Communist China’s occupation of Tibet continues to pose a military threat to Peace and Democracy in Southeast Asia. The Supreme Ruler of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in March 1959 as a consequence of China’s repressive, brutal military actions. On August 26, 1959, in this northeast frontier sector, China’s People’s Liberation Army crossed the McMahon Line for the first time to capture an Indian border post. China abandoned this post during 1961 and launched a major offensive war during October 1962 attacking Indian Army positions in the entire North-East Frontier Agency.

Due to the firm intervention by US President John F. Kennedy, China declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew its forces from all the areas it had captured in the North-East Frontier Agency. One of the consequences of this 1962 War of China’s Aggression on India was the creation of a military alliance/pact between India, Tibet, and the United States to defend the border and to challenge the military occupation of Tibet. This military pact/alliance has created a military organization called Establishment No. 22 which is later given the name of Special Frontier Force. I served in Special Frontier Force along with Tibetan soldiers and we were defending North-East Frontier Agency. The North-East Frontier Agency became Indian Union Territory and was named Arunachal Pradesh on January 20, 1972. The State of Arunachal Pradesh was formed on February 20, 1987.

I had arrived at Doom Dooma(Dum Duma) during February 1972 after my successful participation in the military action called ‘Operation Eagle’ which initiated the Liberation of Bangladesh on November 03, 1971 with attacks on Pakistan’s military border posts in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The United States had withdrawn its CIA personnel from our Organization prior to the launch of Operation Eagle. However, our military alliance/pact withstood the test of the times.

In 1972, the CIA contacted my Unit in North East Frontier Agency to request us for assistance to plant monitoring devices to record data from China’s underground nuclear tests in occupied Tibet. China’s occupation of Tibet, its claims for Indian territory and China’s military build-up still pose a grave threat to Peace and Freedom in Southeast Asia.

Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: I was based at Dum Duma(Doom Dooma) Airfield during 1972-73.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: I was based at Doom Dooma Airfield during 1972-73.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Lohit River enters the plains and flows as the Brahmaputra River.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Lohit River enters the plains and flows as the Brahmaputra River.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: At the southern end of Lohit District, Lohit River enters the plains.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: At the southern end of Lohit District, Lohit River enters the plains.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: The bridge near Parasuram Kund also known as Brahma Kund.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: The bridge near Parasuram Kund also known as Brahma Kund.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: This Border Road along Lohit River did not exist during 1972-73. I had the pleasure of trekking along this route.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: This Border Road along Lohit River did not exist during 1972-73. I had the pleasure of trekking along this route.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Suspension Bridge across Lohit River.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Suspension Bridge across Lohit River.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: A Special Tribute to Lohit River.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: A Special Tribute to Lohit River.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: This bridge swings in the air and is commonly called "JHULA" which refers to the swing found in recreational parks and playgrounds.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: This bridge swings in the air and is commonly called “JHULA” which refers to the swing found in recreational parks and playgrounds.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Walong Valley
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Walong Valley
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Parashuram Kund
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No.22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Parashuram Kund
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: A view taken at Hayuliang.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: A view taken at Hayuliang.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Hayuliang-Walong Road.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment No. 22 Lohit River: Hayuliang-Walong Road.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Walong War Memorial
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Walong War Memorial
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: "WALONG WILL NEVER FALL AGAIN."
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: “WALONG WILL NEVER FALL AGAIN.”
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Walong, Anjaw District.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Walong, Anjaw District.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Trip to Kibithu
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Trip to Kibithu
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Mishmi Hills
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Mishmi Hills
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Hayuliang
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Hayuliang
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: The Border Post at Kibithu
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: The Border Post at Kibithu
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Lohit River near Indo-Tibet Border
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Lohit River near India-Tibet Border.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River:
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River:

Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
The Spirits of Special Frontier Force

SERVICE INFORMATION:

R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Personal Numbers: MS-8466/MR-03277K. Rank: Lieutenant/Captain/Major.
Branch:Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission(1969-1972); Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984).
Designation:Medical Officer.
Unit:Establishment No. 22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972).
Organization: Special Frontier Force.

Published in the HINDU: November 1, 2013 03:14 IST
|
BEIJING, November 1, 2013

China opens new highway near Arunachal Pradesh border

Ananth Krishnan

Nearly 1 billion Yuan project comes to light after seven failed attempts over the past 50 years

China on Thursday opened a new highway that links what the government has described as Tibet’s “last isolated county” – located near the border with Arunachal Pradesh – with the rest of the country and will now provide all-weather access to the strategically important region.
Chinese state media have hailed the opening of the highway to Medog – which lies close to the disputed eastern section of the border with India – as a technological breakthrough, with the project finally coming to fruition after seven failed attempts over the past fifty years.
China started attempting to build the highway to Medog – a landlocked county in Tibet’s Nyingchi prefecture – in the 1960s, according to State media reports, in the aftermath of
the 1962 war with India.
With Thursday’s opening of the road, every county in Tibet is now linked through the highway network, underlining the widening infrastructure gulf across the disputed border, even as India belatedly pushes forward an upgrading of border roads in more difficult terrain.
The official Xinhua News Agency on Thursday described Medog as “the last roadless county in China”. Before this week, Medog was the only one of China’s 2,100 counties to remain isolated
from the highway network, according to State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).
What the project will do
State media reports have focused on the development benefits that the project would bring and have sought to play down the strategic dimensions. Local officials said the road’s opening will
bring down commodity prices and widen access to healthcare.
The road will also provide access to the border county for nine months of the year. That the government was willing to spend as much as 950 million Yuan – or $ 155 million – on a 117-km highway, with ostensibly few economic returns expected, has underscored the project’s
importance to State planners.
Local officials said prior to the opening of the highway, reaching Medog required traversing the treacherous Galung La and Doxong La mountains at an altitude of 4,000 metres. With frequent landslides, the road was often rendered impassable.
Now, the road will be accessible for “8 to 9 months per year, barring major natural disasters”, Ge Yutao, Communist Party head of the transportation department for the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), told Xinhua.
Work on the 117-km road began in 2009, a year after the project was given the green light by the State Council, or Cabinet.
Renewed attention on infrastructure projects
The opening of the road comes at a time when there has been renewed attention on
infrastructure projects in border areas in India and China.
Last week, both countries signed a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) during
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing, aimed at expanding confidence-building measures. The agreement calls for setting up channels of communication between military commands, increasing the number of border personnel meetings, and formalizing rules such
as no tailing of patrols, to build trust and avoid incidents.
The agreement does not specify or limit either country’s plans to boost infrastructure – an
issue that, analysts say, has in the past triggered tensions along the disputed Line of Actual
Control (LAC), most notably in April when a Chinese incursion sparked a three-week-long
stand-off in Depsang, Ladakh.
Han Hua, a South Asia scholar at Peking University, suggested in a recent interview that
the “basic reason” for the incident was “too much construction” along the border. The
Chinese side, she acknowledged, did not have to build closer to the disputed LAC because
their infrastructure, as well as more favourable terrain enabled quicker mobilisation.
“If we don’t have the overall collaboration of the military, policy-makers and decision-makers
on both sides,” she said, “it will be difficult to avoid such incidents”.
‘India’s plans will not be limited’
The BDCA, Indian officials said, will not limit India’s plans to upgrade infrastructure. It recognises the principle of equal and mutual security, which allows either side to pursue its security in its own way. At the same time, officials say the BDCA will still help “regulate activity” along the border by opening up new channels of communication, even as the border continues to remain a matter of dispute.
On Thursday, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun told a regular press conference that military personnel would hold “regular meetings” and “make joint efforts” to maintain peace in border areas, following the signing of the BDCA. The agreement, he said according to a Xinhua report, “summarised good practices and experiences on the management of differences in China-India border areas”.

Keywords: Sino-Indian border, Arunachal-China border, infrastructure, Tibet Autonomous Region

Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: I was based at Doom Dooma or Dum Duma during 1972-73.
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: I was based at Doom Dooma during 1972-73.
Special Frontier Force - Lohit River: Landscape of Anjaw District
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River: Landscape of Anjaw District
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River.
An aerial view of the Lohit’s braided channels in winters soon after it emerges from the hills and simply spreads on the plains. The fantastic view right till the horizon makes for a good photo opportunity. At the same time, it also brings in thought about the possible dreadful image of this whole place under a thick volume of water in monsoon. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
The spot where Lohit emerges free from the mountains. A little upstream of this place is Parshuram Kund, a place squeezed tight between two virtually parallel mountain ranges. Downstream of this, on the right side, the road continues through the gradually decreasing slope towards Tezu while on the left side is jungles bringing in several more tributaries of Lohit. In winters, a whole lot of pebbled riverbed is exposed. At several places, this makes for an easy spot to collect pebbles and stones for crushers used for road building. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
A beautiful, serene destination, Parshuram Kund is a major pilgrim place on the Lohit banks. A huge Mela (fair) is held for two days on the occasion of Makar Sankranti in January every year. The story associated with the place goes that after killing his mother and brothers on the orders of his father, Parshuram could find no other place to wash off his sins. The kund here, now only a portion of it remains after the 1952 quake, was the place where the Parshu came off his blood-stained hands.
Also, upstream of this place till Tiding inside the river waters is considered to be the sacred abode of Nimkay, the spirit that is invoked by the Mishmi community before their every ritual. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
Hayuliang (seen on the top left) is a scenic place at an altitude of about 4000 feet approximately almost mid-way between Tezu and Walong. As altitude decreases, alpine vegetation gives way to subtropical forests. These were some of the densest tropical jungles in all of India. But now, places such as Hayuliang and surrounding areas have become a major concrete zone as scores of government offices shifted here in the last decade. Also, it is a major congregation point for people coming from the Chhaglagam side, an area that is not entirely connected with motorable roads. Hayuliang showcases both the modern and the traditional facets of the Mishmi community, especially its housing and food habits. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
From Kibithoo till Hayuliang, the road runs parallel to the river and entirely on the right bank. At times, right near it, as can be seen here. At times, high above on the face of the lofty hills. Having a road connection makes or breaks the overall connectivity for the people and the army. In 1962, there was no road beyond Tezu, the headquarters of the then undivided Lohit district and Indian soldiers had walked almost 8-10 days to reach the respective posts near Walong and Kibithoo. Things are relatively easier now with the BRO building and maintaining roads but there is always a possibility of a landslide washing away a substantial chunk of the road and/or the hill on which that road is built. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
Walong, situated at a picturesque location at an undulating 4,500 to 6,000 feet, was where the Indian soldiers braved the Chinese onslaught during the 1962 war at the nearby Namti plains. Here the Lohit flows on one side of a vast relatively plain landform at about 4,500 plus altitude while the hilly roadside has almost all the houses. There are war memorials (both old one and new one) and few government offices apart from the ALG (advanced landing ground) of the armed forces. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
Places that are few and far on the left bank are connected with a variety of bridges – bamboo made, steel wire suspension bridges and at very few places, proper RCC bridges – with the road on the right bank. This one, a little downstream of the hot springs leads to Dong that receives the first sunrays of India. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
The site near Walong that has hot springs aptly called Garam Pani. It is a typical Himalayan geological feature of warm water oozing out of a small opening barely meters away from the bone chilling cold waters of Lohit. This is a popular tourist destination for both locals and outsiders. In winters, as the Lohit waters ebb, the spot is open for all to reach easily. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
The difference in volume that the Lohit carries in winters and monsoons can be understood from the markings on the torn hill on the other side. The water column easily rises to almost 100 feet or more in peak monsoon and the winding river gnaws off hillocks and washes off soils and trees in its spate. In winters, icy cold water splashes the banks that are full of pebbles of various shapes and sizes. These pebbles form the core of building material for roads by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) that needs to bring tar/bitumen from outside Arunachal Pradesh. Locals in the higher reaches still majorly live in houses made of bamboo, so these pebbles hardly make to the civilian construction sites there. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
As the blue river charts a serpentine path, the sparsely populated hills are covered with large coniferous trees as found in higher altitudes. The Lohit is called Tallow in local Mishmi language. Beyond the human habitations around the Walong area, there are large and small several lakes, some of the glacial lakes, at 6,000 feet and above. These lakes feed big and small streams and rivers joining the Lohit from both sides. In monsoon, the river turns muddy and showcases an entire range of grey and ash. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
This was the only motorable road connection that the two bastis (Villages) Kaho and Mosai had with Kibithoo. Built only in 2009 as a suspension bridge by the Indian army, which touted it as the “Easternmost Road of India”, this bridge was washed away by Lohit’s perilous floods in 2012. People are left to use the hanging bridge again. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
Kaho and Meshai (also called Mosai) are the two small habitations of Meyor community on the left bank of Lohit in the Kibithoo neighborhood. Kaho has just seven houses. In absence of a road (which is on the right bank all through), this hanging bridge, about six km from Kaho, is the only connection that the two bastis have with Kibithoo and hence, the rest of India. Lohit flows through a gorge for a long distance in this stretch. The atmosphere is hazy in winters on most days. Similarly, the strong winds on most days exacerbated due to the gorge make it very hard for commuters crossing the hanging bridge. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
This is a war memorial in the shape of the Mishmi community’s memorial for the dead. An emotional poem adorns the plaque at this war memorial. (Photo: Nivedita Khandekar)
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment celebrates the Lohit River.

Published by Bhavanajagat

Whole Man - Whole Theory: "I am Consciousness, Therefore I am" is my proposition to examine the reality of Man and the World in which he exists.

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