Tributes Paid To Gallant AOC At War Memorial

GOC of 57 Mtn Div DS Hooda paying tributes. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 21: Re-dedication of the Kanglatongbi war memorial was held today with Director General Ordnance Services and Senior Colonel Commandant Lt Gen Pradeep Bhalla, AVSM, ADC lea-ding in laying floral wreaths.

The impressive function was also attended by GOC Red Shield Division Maj Gen DS Hooda, AVSM, VSM; AOC Eastern Command Maj Gen MSS Krishnan, VSM, Deputy GOC Red Shield Division Brig RS Grewal, AOC 3 Corps Brig MS Bisht and other officers of 57 Mountain Division.

Standing tall in Khenjang village of Kanglatongbi area , Sadar Hills under Senapati district, the war memorial is a mute testimony to the fighting prowess of the Army Ordnance Corps, otherwise a logical back up organization. During the second world war (1942-1945) when the desperate marauding Japanese forces were trying to open their line of communication to Imphal, a small but determined detachment of the 221 Advance Ordnance Depot put up a stiff residence stalling the desperate bayonet charges and the advance of the Japanese forces till reinforcement arrived and turn the tide against the Japanese in 1944.

In memory of the exemplary courage, bravery, unflinching devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice made by the Ordnance personnel of 221 Advance Depot, a modest memorial was constructed with a roughly hew block of Naga stone as the main pillar. The honor of unveiling and inaugurating this memorial was conferred upon Col HIC Cunningham, IAOC, the Commandant of 221 Advance Depot in those days.

There may be many war memorials across the length and breadth of India, but what makes the Kanglatongbi war memorial unique is the fact that this is the only war memorial dedicated in memory of Ordnance personnel in the country.

The memorial, which was battered by time and the forces of nature over the years, has been renovated and a major face lift provided by all ranks of the Ordnance Corps led by its Director General Ordnance Services and Senior Colonel Commandant Lt Gen Pradeep Bhalla, AVSM, ADC.

Gen Bhalla flew down especially from Army HQ today morning to unveil the renovated memorial and re-dedicated the same to the departed souls of all those brave men who laid down their lives in the line of duty.

Later during the day, essential items like rice, bed-nets, blankets, bags, etc were presented to the inmates of Kanglatongbi Children Home and other gifts to chief and other elderly citizens of Khenjang village to mark the occasion. Traditional tribal dances were also performed and inmates of the children home presented song in appreciation of the gesture.

Interacting with media persons on the sideline, Lt Gen Pradeep Bhalla said that it was his first visit to Manipur and he was happy to get the opportunity of laying floral wreaths at Kanglatongbi war memorial and pay his respect.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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