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UK ceremony honours fallen heroes of Battle of Kanglatongbi

by Konthoujam Gita
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UK ceremony honours fallen heroes of Battle of Kanglatongbi

IT News
Imphal, April 8:

Yumnam Rajeshwor Singh, a military historian and a member of the Royal Gurkha Signal Regiment, had the honor of reading out the names of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives at Kanglatongbi during World War II at the Burma Star Memorial, National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, UK yesterday. The ceremony was conducted by Reverend Dr. Andrew Sangster, a respected military historian and accomplished writer.
The 80th-anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Kanglatongbi could not be organized in Manipur because of the ongoing ethnic conflict in the state. However, the 70th and 75th anniversaries were celebrated in Imphal in 2014 and 2019, respectively, with notable international involvement. Yumnam Rajeshwor Singh, a resident of Chingmeirong, Imphal, called the roll of honor for the 75 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Kanglatongbi. The recitation of the names of the fallen in public during this remembrance in the UK is a historic first. Families from throughout the United Kingdom, including two whose fathers had received the Military Cross, came to give their condolences.
Religious leaders from the Christian, Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim faiths said prayers for the fallen warriors. Along with a bagpiper and bugler, the celebration featured a march of active military personnel and veterans.
A brave detachment from the 221 Advance Ordnance Depot made a strong fight against the Japanese forces’ attempts to break the lines leading to Imphal during the turbulent years of World War II (1942–1945). On the evening of April 6, 1944, their tenacity stopped the enemy’s assault and changed the course of the conflict. Japanese forces launched a major assault on the depot on the night of April 6-7, 1944, resulting in severe battle. The enemy attack was repulsed by the defenders, who included a Bren Gun Section stationed in a tactically camouflaged bunker, despite overwhelming odds. The defenders inflicted heavy casualties and forced the retreat. A military memorial was built to honor them for their extraordinary bravery, sacrifice, and heroism in remembrance of the Battle of Kanglatongbi, also referred to as the Battle of Lion Box.
The memorial event for the 80th Anniversary of the battle of Kanglatongbi was a very moving event. As Rajeshswar read the name of the Indians who died, he shared a few words for a documentary film based on this event on how Manipur was a victim of geopolitics during WW2 and this has continued till today and why peace or absence of violence should be the solution. Shared on the belief that the Japanese lose the war as they bombed the ‘sacred hill of Ibudhou Marjing / the God of Polo’ and how the bomber plan were forecast as seven ‘Uroks/ oriented white Abis Bird ‘ who would fly to Manipur bringing huge change including leadership to the land. The program ended with the priest calling for peace and an end to the violence.

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