Imphal: The 78th Anniversary of Flag Hoisting Day was observed today at INA Martyr’s Memorial Complex, Moirang in presence of chief minister N. Biren Singh.
It was on 14th April, 1944 that the Tricolor Flag of Free India was first hoisted at Moirang in Bishnupur district of Manipur.
At the INA Martyr’s Memorial Complex, Biren led the other dignitaries in paying floral tribute to the Statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and also unfurled the Indian Tricolor Flag installed inside the complex.
Biren expressed that he felt honoured taking part in Moirang Utsav being observed in connection with the Flag Hoisting Day. He termed the day (14th April) as a historic day for people of the country adding that on this day Lieutenant Colonel Shaukat Ali of Indian National Army (INA) hoisted the Tricolor Flag of Free Indian for the first time on Indian Soil.
In early April of 1944, the Subash Brigade of INA along with 33 Division, Japanese Army crossed the Indo-Burmese Boundary to form Imphal Front. On 14th April the combined force after capturing Moirang, reached the house of Hemam Nilamani of Moirang Konjengbam Leikai and set up the first Headquarter of INA in India.
He recalled that 96 Manipuris took part in the efforts of INA to capture Moirang from the British Army and hoist the Tricolor Flag. He informed that the state government had already acquired land for the construction of new INA Memorial Hall and construction work for the same had been started.
Regarding the expansion of INA Headquarter Complex, he said, the existing area was 0.46 acres along with the house which was used to be the INA Headquarter and added that the government is in process to acquire 2.12 acres of adjoining areas to develop it into a World Class INA Memorial Park.
He said a 165 feet tall Indian National Flag, highest in Northeast, would be installed at the INA Headquarter Complex for which the pole had already been erected. Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah will visit the State and unfurl the Indian National Flag as a part of the 100 Days Action Plans, he added.
Stressing on the sense of nationalism possessed by forefathers, he expressed the need for the present generation to pay respect to the forefathers who had sacrificed their lives for the motherland and also to have a sense of nationalism.
He expressed gratitude to members of Akhil Bhartiya Poorva Sainik Seva Parishad for visiting the State to attend the observation of Flag Hoisting Day.
Works minister Govindas Konthoujam stated that Colonel Shaukat Ali hoisted the Tricolor Flag at Moirang and announced independence from the mighty British. He recalled that former chief minister late M. Koireng, late Hemam Nilamani and other leaders worked closely with INA and played an important role in bringing Indian Independence. He stressed the importance of remembering the freedom fighters, who had played a key role in the movement for Independence so that our youth could be imbibed with a sense of nationalism.
Cultural programmes namely Dhol-Dholok Cholom and Thang Ta were also showcased by different troupes during the observation.