Discussion on transfer of WW II airfield to Manipur govt underway: Biren Singh
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday informed that the discussion on the transfer of the World War II airfield at Koirengei in Imphal East from the Ministry of Defence to the state government is underway.
“Considering the historical importance of this airfield, it is pertinent that the airfield is developed and preserved as (a) historical site,” Singh tweeted.
The old airfield, which was constructed during the Second World War by the Allied forces to check the Japanese advancement, is said to be 74.24 acres in area.
As Manipur is now on 'War Tourism Map' with numerous British and Japanese tourists flowing in to visit the war memorial sites, the CM said, it is very important to develop these war memorial sites to give a better experience to the war tourists visiting the state.
In October last year, Singh chaired a review meeting on the transfer of this land which is presently occupied by central security forces.
“British war veterans call the Battle of Imphal/Kohima a significant one & its success wouldn’t have been possible w/o (without) the airfields in Manipur. Among these, Koirengei airfield is still inaccessible to tourists as it is currently occupied by 57 Mt Division,” the Manipur CM added.
The northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland are famous for their Second World War cemeteries -- Imphal War Cemetery and the Kohima War Cemetery, attracting war tourists from far and wide.
Also Read: Meet the Battlefield Diggers of the Battle of Imphal
HISTORY OF THE BATTLE
In the year 1944, from March to July, the Japanese attacked the allied forces in Imphal (Manipur) and Kohima (Nagaland) and this battle, coined as the 'Battle of Imphal', was said to be the greatest battle fought in the history of the British Army.
The twin battles of Imphal and Kohima in World War II was voted as Britain’s greatest battle by a 2013 poll conducted by the British National Army Museum.
It was said the allied forces suffered over 12,603 casualties while the Japanese were said to have suffered 54,879 causalities. Many of them were buried without a name and for many families, there wasn’t closure as of yet.
(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)
Also Read: World War II airfield in Imphal East to be acquired by State government