In a solemn ceremony held on Tuesday in Imphal, Lt Gen PC Nair, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, PhD, Director General of Assam Rifles, along with Maj Gen Rajan Sharawat, VSM, Inspector General of Assam Rifles, paid tribute to the iconic figure of North East India, Maj Bob Khathing, Padmashree, MC, MBE, on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
The event was attended by Mr John Khating, the son of Maj Bob Khathing, and other important dignitaries from both the military and civil society. Major Bob Khathing, who hailed from Manipur, was a decorated soldier who had contributed significantly to the nation’s defense and played a key role in integrating the North East region with the rest of India.
During World War II, he served with the famous V Force and for his gallantry, was awarded the Military Cross and Member of the British Empire (MBE). Apart from his committed service in Assam during the great earthquake of 1950, he played key roles in the transitional period in the State of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim. Major Khathing’s name has special relevance to Arunachal Pradesh as he served as the Assistant Political Officer in erstwhile NEFA. He was also the first Officer to successfully unfurl the Indian Tri-colour at Tawang in the year 1951. Owing to his immense contribution to the North East Region he was awarded the “Padmashree” by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1957.
The Assam Rifles, which has a significant presence in the region, paid homage to the legendary soldier as a mark of respect and gratitude for his service to the nation.
During the event, the DG Assam Rifles spoke about the valuable contribution of Major Bob Khathing to the erstwhile NEFA and his overall contribution towards peace and security in the North East India. The ceremony also included a felicitation ceremony from the Khathing family, where Tangkhul students who topped in class 10th and 12th board examinations in various streams were awarded cash prizes and certificates.
The ceremony was well-received by the audience, who recognised Major Bob Khathing’s immense contribution to the North East region.