India - Republic of: Sainya Seva Medal with Clasp: Bengal and Assam, awarded to Corporal M. Kumar, Indian Air Force, who was present on operations for at least one year in West Bengal and Assam after 26th October 1962 during the Sino-Indian War.
India - Republic of: Sainya Seva Medal with Clasp: Bengal and Assam; (735200 CPL M KUMAR I.A.F.)
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Awarded to Corporal (No.735200) M. Kumar, Indian Air Force, who was present on operations for at least one year in West Bengal and Assam after 26th October 1962.
The Sainya Seva Medal or Service Medal was awarded in addition to the General Service Medal 1947, but was awarded for additional service to personnel of the armed forces in recognition of services under conditions of special hardship and severe climate. Recipient’s with at least one years service in West Bengal and Assam after 26th October 1962 qualified for this medal with this clasp. The cause of the Sino-Indian War of 1962 was a dispute over the sovereignty of the widely separated Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh border regions. Aksai Chin, claimed by India to belong to Kashmir and by China to be part of Xinjiang, contains an important road link that connects the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. China's construction of this road was one of the triggers of the conflict. Small-scale clashes between the Indian and Chinese forces broke out as India insisted on the disputed McMahon Line being regarded as the international border between the two countries. Chinese troops claim to have not retaliated to the cross-border firing by Indian troops, despite sustaining losses. China's suspicion of India's involvement in Tibet created more rifts between the two countries. In 1962, the Indian Army was ordered to move to the Thag La ridge located near the border between Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh and about three miles (5 km) north of the disputed McMahon Line. Meanwhile, Chinese troops too had made incursions into Indian-held territory and tensions between the two reached a new high when Indian forces discovered a road constructed by China in Aksai Chin. After a series of failed negotiations, the People’s Liveration Army attacked Indian Army positions at the Thag La ridge. This move by China caught India by surprise and by 12 October, Nehru gave orders for the Chinese to be expelled from Aksai Chin. However, poor coordination among various divisions of the Indian Army and the late decision to mobilise the Indian Air Force in vast numbers gave China a crucial tactical and strategic advantage over India. On 20 October, Chinese soldiers attacked India in both the North-West and North-Eastern parts of the border and captured vast portions of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. As the fighting moved beyond disputed territories, China called on the Indian government to negotiate, however India remained determined to regain lost territory. With no peaceful agreement in sight, China unilaterally withdrew its forces from Arunachal Pradesh. The reasons for the withdrawal are disputed with India claiming various logistical problems for China and diplomatic support to it from the United States, while China stated that it still held territory that it had staked diplomatic claim upon. The dividing line between the Indian and Chinese forces was named the Line of Actual Control. The poor decisions made by India's military commanders, and, indeed, its political leadership, raised several questions. The Henderson-Brooks & Bhagat Committee was soon set up by the Government of India to determine the causes of the poor performance of the Indian Army. The report of China even after hostilities began and also criticised the decision to not allow the Indian Air Force to target Chinese transport lines out of fear of Chinese aerial counter-attack on Indian civilian areas. Much of the blame was also targeted at the incompetence of then Defence Minister, Krishna Menon who resigned from his post soon after the war ended. Despite frequent calls for its release, the Henderson-Brooks report still remains classified.