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Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, on Sunday, attended the foundation laying ceremony of Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing Memorial Museum at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh alongside other prominent dignitaries.
The foundation stone of the late Major was laid by the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Brig BD Mishra in the presence of Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State in charge of Sports & Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju, and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Meghalaya Chief Minister highlighted the contributions made by the late Major and said, “Tawang is a sacred place for Arunachal Pradesh and on this day, 70 years ago, Major Khathing made history by establishing Indian administrative control over Tawang and hoisted the tricolor.”
Sangma also revealed that Major Khathing shared a special bond with Meghalaya as his late wife, Kleris Nora Lyngdoh was from Shillong.
“I’m so glad to see his children and family in our midst today and I am certain that this must be an emotional and proud moment for all of them as it is to all of us”, he added.
Sangma pointed out various facets of Major Khathing's life during his speech and mentioned that the memorial will always keep the legacy of the braveheart alive.
“I commend my friend, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu Ji, and the Government for ensuring that Major Khathing’s legacy is given its due recognition. Today, I salute Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing, North East’s brave son for all that he has done,” he added.
The leaders acknowledged the significant contributions Major Khathing made in the military and diplomatic sphere during his eventful career.
From serving as a captain in the British Army, who participated in Second World War, to leading the Assam Rifles in the Northeast on various assignments, his immense contribution is a saga etched in history.
The Major was awarded the prestigious Member of the British Empire (MBE) in December 1943 and received the Military Cross in August 1944.
Kathing was the first tribal to become the Ambassador of India to Burma in 1972.
He was awarded the Padma Shree Award for the rescue and rehabilitation work during the 1950 earthquake and his role in securing Tawang from Chinese intrusion.
“Our country is indebted to Major Khathing for his bravery, his contributions, and the impact he has made in the lives of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and the North East”, the Meghalaya CM said.
(Edited by Shankar Kumar Turha)