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Arunachal honours Bob Khathing

Arunachal honours Bob Khathing
Dignitaries after unveiling the statue of R. Khathing.
GUWAHATI, FEB 14 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 2/14/2021 12:28:51 PM IST

Seventy years after he brought Tawang under Indian rule by reaching the area located near McMahon Line and unfurling the tricolour there, Arunachal Pradesh government on Sunday honoured Major Ralengnao Khathing with a memorial.

Khathing, who was more popular as Bob, is relatively an unknown figure for most of India and even parts of Arunachal Pradesh. But people in Tawang still remember him with respect for establishing Indian control over the area when the threat of China loomed.
Arunachal Governor Brig (Retd.) BD Mishra laid the foundation stone of the memorial at Tawang, coinciding with the day Khathing is believed to have hoisted the Indian flag in Tawang in 1951. The state government also awarded Arunachal Ratna award to Khathing.
Arunachal chief minister Pema Khandu, Meghalaya CMchief minister Conrad Sangma, Union minister for sports Kiren Rijiju, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and family members of Khathing were present on the occasion.
“It a magnificent function where Khathing was honoured. Contribution of the hero of Tawang cannot be forgotten. A due recognition has been given, who was so far neglected,” Rijiju said.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu also took to tweeter saying: “Arunachal is elated to honour its true hero Major Ralengnao ‘Bob’ Khathing with Arunachal Ratna, the highest civilian honour of the state.” 
“Not many of us are aware of Major Khathing and his contribution to Arunachal Pradesh. Once the memorial is constructed, visitors will come to know about him and his contributions,” Khandu had said last month while announcing the plan to honour the hero with a memorial.
The memorial will highlight Khathing’s life and will also showcase traditions of the local Monpa tribe.
Born at Ukhrul in Manipur in 1912, Khathing had served in the British Army in the Second World War. He was awarded the Military Cross and received the Member of British Empire (MBE) as well.
After Independence, he was appointed as an assistant political officer in November 1950 in Tirap division and was posted in Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh (known earlier as North East Frontier Agency-NEFA).
Later, Khathing became the Chief Secretary of Nagaland in 1967. It was during his tenure, the Nagaland Armed Police and Naga Regiment were established. Five years later, he became the first Indian tribal to become an Ambassador when he was selected as the Indian Ambassador to Burma, in 1972.

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