Naren Chandra Das, the Assam Rifles veteran who had received and escorted the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, into India from Tibet in 1959 passed away at the age of 83.

The then 22-year-old Dalai Lama fled Tibet with the help of CIA’s Special Activities Division and crossed the border on March 30, 1959. He was escorted into Indian territory by a seven-member team of the Assam Rifles soldiers, one of whom was Naren Chandra Das.

Dalai Lama then reached Tezpur on April 18. Former Assam Rifles Havildar Naren Chandra Das too hailed from Lokra near Tezpur in Assam. He was the last survivor among the seven jawans who had escorted the Tibetan leader.

He later set up the Government of Tibet in Exile in Dharamshala, which is often referred to as “Little Lhasa“, after the founding of which, he re-established the approximately 80,000 Tibetan refugees who followed him into exile.

Naren Chandra Das and Dalai Lama had an emotional meeting in April 2018 in Guwahati. 

The Dalai Lama’s escape to India marked a crucial moment in the evolution of Indo-Chinese relationships, an event in Tibetan history that Naren Chandra Das too was a major part of.

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