Arunachal Pradesh: Forgotten hero who brought Tawang under Indian Union to be honoured



Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing, who was instrumental in bringing Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh under the Indian Union, will be honoured for the first time on Sunday here in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat.

As an assistant political officer of the erstwhile North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) and present-day Arunachal Pradesh, Khathing had carried out an audacious operation to bring Tawang under the Indian Union in the early 1950s under the direct supervision of the then Assam Governor Jairamdas Daulatram.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier (Retd) B D Mishra and General Rawat arrived here on Saturday to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing Memorial at Kalawangpo auditorium.

"Khathing was one of the most significant heroes of India whose immense contribution cannot be forgotten. Due recognition will be given to Khathing, who was so far neglected," Rijiju told PTI.

Khathing's son John, a retired IRS officer, and other family members will also be present at the function.

According to historical accounts of the NEFA, when Khathing and his men arrived in Tawang, he called a meeting on a high-ground near the Tawang Monastery for meeting local tax officials, village elders and prominent people of Tawang.

He used diplomatic skills to win over the locals and soon realised that the local Monpa community was struggling under the harsh taxes imposed by the Tibetan administration.

Khathing apprised the local people about India, its democracy and assured them that India will never impose an unjustified tax on them.

Soon, with the Assam Rifles men, Khathing took control of Tawang, the tricolour was hoisted in Tawang and Bumla which became part of India.