IMPHAL, April 17: The Thangjing festival was celebrated with traditional zeal and thousands of pilgrims from all over the Manipur valley participated in the annual event. A statement issued by the PIB Defence Wing said that the organisers of the event expressed their deepest gratitude to 16 Maratha Light Infantry of Red Shield Division for the assistance provided in the smooth conduct of the festival from April 16 to April 17. It said the unit apart from providing the environmental security also ensured other basic facilities like Medical Aid post, drinking water and refreshments were provided by the army for the pilgrims at the base of Thangjing. This was welcomed by all participants, specially the elderly people and women who had embarked on this tough religious journey, it said.More than four thousand pilgrims attended the festival in spite of the rough terrain and inclement weather condition. The event passed off peacefully due to the proactive steps taken by the Joint Action Committee comprising of local Kuki and Meitei leaders which was set up on the recommendations of the army, said the statement.