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Sonowal unveils War Memorial

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Aug 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, August 16: Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal unveiled the War Memorial on the northern bank of historic Dighalipukhuri in the presence of a large gathering of Army, Air Force personnel, intellectuals and general public in the evening of August 15, 2016.

Paying heartfelt tribute to the brave hearts who laid down their lives for safeguarding the territorial integrity of the tion, Sonowal said the War Memorial built to perpetuate their hallowed memory would inspire and motivate the young generation to make sacrifices for the sake of the motherland.

Lauding the Rajya Sainik Board for taking the initiative to build the War Memorial, Sonowal said, “Dighalipukhuri’s history dates back to King Bhagadatta. Ahom general Lachit Borphukan fought against the Mughals from here. The coming up of the War Memorial will not only add beauty to the important historic spot but also remind us of the supreme sacrifices made by the Army jawans to defend the unity and territorial integrity of our tion,” he said.

Sonowal said people coming to the heritage site from outside the State would get a real feel of the importance and significance of the place vis-a-vis glorious history and heritage of Assam and its people and the sacrifices made by them for the sake of the motherland.

The Chief Minister said that the Government would take more steps for beautification of the historic Dighalipukhuri tank and appealed to the teachers and students of Cotton College and Handique Girls’ College to keep the surroundings in and around the historic place neat and clean. “Inspired by Mahatma Gandhiji, Prime Minister rendra Modi has spearheaded the Swaach Bharat Abhiyan across the country. It is against this backdrop, it is our bounden duty to keep the historic Dighalipukhuri tank neat and clean and the City of Guwahati as a whole,” he added.

Calling upon all sections of people to live in peaceful coexistence and to work in tandem for progress and development, Sonowal said, “In the spirit of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, let us all work unitedly to make Assam a powerful and ideal State of the country under the leadership of Prime Minister rendra Modi.”

The Chief Minister thanked the people of Barak and Brahmaputra valleys, hills and plains for coming out spontaneously to participate in the three-day programmes chalked out by the State Government on the occasion of 70th Independence Day celebrations despite the boycott call by militants.

Commodore KC Choudhury, VSM (retired) Director, Sainik Welfare Board, Assam said Dighalipukhuri has become a ‘temple of martyrs’ with the coming up of the memorial. Choudhury said the memorial would have the evocative epitaph of Kohima War Memorial, ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.’ He lauded the State Government for providing funds for the purpose.

Earlier, Chief Minister Sonowal met the Army and Air force personnel and the war widows. A two-minute silence was observed in memory of the martyrs. Singer hid Afrin enlivened the evening with Lata Mangeskar’s soul-stirring ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’ and Samar Hazarika with Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s evergreen number ‘Koto Jawanor Mrityu Hol’ followed by the performance of Army band – ‘Sare Jahan Se Achcha’, and ‘Bande Mataram’ by the IAF Band. The whole Dighalipukhuri tank was illumited with lights, diyas and candles on the momentous occasion. The war widows paid homage to the martyrs by moving around the memorial with candles in their hands.

Officials and employees of Directorate of Ex-Servicemen Welfare handed over a cheque for Rs 2.32 lakh and Ex-Servicemen Welfare Society Rs 2 lakh to the Chief Minister as contribution towards the relief fund for the flood-affected people of the State.

The War Memorial beautifully illumited has a boat depicting life-size statue of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan in full battle gear, leading his soldiers against the Mughals and an Amar Jawan Jyoti with the rifle and a helmet on top. A uniformed soldier with a rifle paying homage to the martyrs adorns the memorial. The memorial houses relief panels and murals depicting historic scenes from pre and post-Independence era. The upper portion of the memorial has a park with well-designed lawns, decorative trees, flower beds and the like along with a 43-ton Vijayanta tank of 1971 Indo-Pak War and a MiG-27 fighter used in Kargil conflict and Operation Parakram adding grandeur to it.

The War Memorial has been built at a project cost of Rs 7.50 crore.

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