Assam Rifles veteran Naren Chandra Das, who had received and escorted the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso on his arrival in India from Tibet in 1959, passed away on Tuesday. He was 83.
At the age of 22, Dalai Lama fled Tibet with the help of the CIA’s Special Activities Division and crossed the border on March 30, 1959 and landed at Tezpur in Assam on April 18. He was escorted into Indian territory by a seven-member team of the Assam Rifles soldiers, one of whom was Naren Chandra Das aged 23 at the time.
Naren Chandra Das, a former Assam Rifles Havildar, was born in Lokra near Tezpur in the Sonitpur district of Assam.
Naren Chandra Das was the last survivor among the seven jawans who had escorted the Tibetan spiritual leader.
In April 2018, Naren Chandra Das and the Dalai Lama had an emotional meeting in Guwahati.
When the Dalai Lama beheld havildar (retd) Naren Chandra Das of the 5 Assam Rifles, the last known survivor of the party of seven Indian troops who received him on Indian soil for the first time in 58 years following his heroic escape from Tibet, the spiritual leader was at a loss for words.