Se La

1. PM Modi inaugurates 2.5km tunnel under Se La pass.
2. Development enhances defense capabilities in Arunachal Pradesh.
3. Enables quicker troop deployment to safeguard Tawang.

Tawang, March 09: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the nearly 2.5-kilometer-long tunnel under the 4,190-meter Se La pass, a significant development aimed at bolstering India’s defense capabilities in Arunachal Pradesh.

The tunnel, along with the previously inaugurated Nechiphu tunnel in 2023, will facilitate swifter deployment of troops to defend Tawang, an area coveted by China.

The construction of the Se La tunnel, completed within five years of laying its foundation stone in February 2019, holds historical significance for India, particularly in light of the events during the 1962 war with China.

It was during this conflict that the Indian army faced significant setbacks, leading to the fall of Se La to Chinese forces.

In the aftermath of the 1962 war, the Indian Army’s seventh brigade withdrew from Tawang after sustaining heavy losses. Se La, considered virtually impregnable, succumbed to Chinese control due to weak military leadership.

Also Read: Manipur CM N Biren Singh pledges gradual repatriation of Myanmar Nationals

The bravery of individuals like Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, commander of the 62 Brigade, was evident, yet the lack of effective leadership contributed to the loss of morale among Indian troops.

The decision-making during the 1962 war, as documented in the Official History of the conflict, reflects instances of panic and surrender among military commanders.

Despite protests from Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, General Pathania ordered the withdrawal of troops from Se La, a move that ultimately led to its fall to the Chinese.

However, the construction of the Se La tunnel signifies a new era of confidence and preparedness for India. It serves as an affirmation of India’s determination to defend its territory, particularly against Chinese aggression in the Tawang sector.

The strategic importance of the tunnel cannot be overstated, especially in light of recent Chinese activities, including the renaming of features in Arunachal Pradesh and claims over the region as “South Tibet.”

The Se La tunnel, along with the Nechiphu tunnel, will enable Indian forces to respond swiftly and flexibly to any threats in the region.

It represents a significant step towards enhancing India’s defense infrastructure and ensuring the security of its borders.

Beyond its military significance, the tunnel underscores India’s commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.