Odisha Special

The Legendary Biju Patnaik’s Role In Setting Up India’s Elite Covert Force

Bhubaneswar: The heroics and dare-devilry of Biju Patnaik, the Tall Man of Odisha are no secret. Biju Babu, as he is affably called, has many firsts to his credit, and in recent times, a lot has been written and spoken about his deeds. However, the one among many accomplishment of the legendary Biju Babu which is being shared in this piece, might not be known to many.

The story is about, ‘Establishment 22’, often referred to as ‘Two-Twos’ by the uniformed personnel, and its formation. The two-time Chief Minister of Odisha, Biju Babu was instrumental in setting up Establishment 22, a covert unit of the Indian Defence Forces.

Biju, a close confidante of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru advised him to build Establishment 22 with the Gorkha refugees from Tibet. In the video shared below, Indian Navy veteran, Commodore Ranjit Rai narrates the role of Biju Patnaik and the then Intelligence Bureau chief Bhola Nath Mullik in setting up this unit using the lion-hearted Gorkhas.

“Establishment 22 or the Special Frontier Force was the secret force setup by Nehru in 1962 to combat the Chinese. Encouraged by Biju Patnaik and BN Mullik, Nehru accorded approval to the recruitment of Tibetan refugees in this covert force,” says Commodore Rai.

While not much is discussed about this secret unit, Establishment 22 is based in Odisha’s Choudwar. The unit is administered by the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), the external intelligence agency of India. The Indian government denies the existence of this force, but it has played significant roles in many battles which the country has fought and won, adds Rai.

“As the defence advisor to the then Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, Biju Patnaik’s role in setting up this unit has been pivotal. This apart, Biju Patnaik has undertaken multiple successful missions both on home and foreign soil with his daredevil acts,” said Commodore Rai.

Watch the full video to know details about the legendary Biju Patnaik’s role in setting up India’s elite covert force.

Commodore Ranjit Rai, Indian Navy Veteran


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