IMPHAL, March 23 � Manipur today commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal during the WW II by paying homage to the departed souls in the battles fought in Imphal and Kohima which have been named as the greatest ever battle involving British forces.
A formal inaugural ceremony of the anniversary was held at MFDC auditorium here with the State chief secretary PC Lawmkunga as the chief guest. The function was organised by the Manipur Tourism Forum (MTF) and 2nd WW II Imphal campaign foundation in association with the Government of Manipur.
Japan�s Ambassador to India Takeshi Yagi, Additional Chief Secretary RR Rashmi, Principal secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar and Commissioner RK Nimai of the Manipur Government were the guests of honour at the function.
�We are organising the anniversary with 14 different programmes at 14 different historic war sites in Manipur to draw the attention of the masses and propagate the message of peace across the world,� said MTF president Dr Th Dhabali.
The battle of Imphal was fought from March-July in 1944, involving about 2,00,000 soldiers. The Japanese, who fought alongside some Indian nationalists, eventually lost 53,000 dead and missing in the battles. The British forces sustained 12,500 casualties at Imphal while the fighting at Kohima cost them another 4,000
Manipur�s only existing Tulihal airport and 210 km Imphal-Moreh highway were built during WW II. However, the popular war time airstrips such as Koirengei and Pallel are unused now.