IMPHAL, October 9: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today felicitated all officers and ranks of the 165 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) (Home and Hearth) popularly known as the Manipur Terriers on the occasion of the 66th Territorial Army Day today.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said it is a proud moment for the State to felicitate the `Citizens Army`™ once again on the occasion of the Territorial Army Day.
He said the 165 Infantry Battalion (TA) (Home & Hearth) ASSAM is the first and the only Territorial Army unit raised purely from the domiciles of Manipur.
He said it is heartening to know that the unit is performing its task admirably and has set high standards in its performance.
The personnel of the unit, by being present in small detachments in almost all Army and Assam Rifle units in Manipur, is making an immense contribution in helping them to understand the peculiarities of the State and carry out their operational task with a humane face which is quite important for the new units arriving in Manipur, he said.
`This aspect l am sure has helped the security forces in Manipur to gain tremendous goodwill of the local population, which is becoming very obvious presently.`
`I wish all the best to all ranks of the Manipur Terriers in continuing their good work and at the same time, express my sincere appreciation for the good work being done.`
Raising of this unit has given a direction and impetus to gainful employment of youth of the State and further their involvement in the development of the state by taking part in provisioning of security to its citizens, the Chief Minister also said.
As you may be aware, after the attainment of lndia`™s Independence from British rule, the need was felt to have a sizeable reserve force of trained citizens to support the regular army in time of need, it said.
The Territorial Army Act 1948 was passed by the Indian Parliament resulting in the constitution of the present Territorial Army and was formally inaugurated by C Rajagopalachari, the first Governor General of free India on October 9, 1949, he said.
He also said lndia`™s Territorial Army is active in numerous fields; it has Infantry Battalions, the Ecological Task Forces, Railway Engineer Units, the Oil Sector Units, General Hospitals and Home and Hearth Battalions, which are raised and deployed in the insurgency affected states.
Manipur`™s Home and Hearth TA Battalion; i.e. 165 TA Battalion also called `Manipur Terriers`™ since its deployment in state in February 2007, has become an inseparable part of the security setup of the State, the Chief Minister add.
lt has been performing its task of being an interface between the local populace and the Army and Assam Rifles Units with distinction, it said.
`l am given to understand that it is a large unit with a strength over one thousand and its eight companies are spread over the entire State of Manipur under 57 Mountain Division and Inspector General Assam Rifles (South) in Manipur.`
The Territorial Army has unfailingly risen to the challenges whenever it been called upon to act in the security of the nation or for the welfare of our citizens, he said.
Through the commitment, bravery and sacrifice of its personnel, the force continues to provide invaluable support, he said.
`l also wish to once again, extend my felicitations to all ranks of 165 TA Battalion (The Manipur Terriers) and their families.`
The function organised by the state government was held at the 1st Manipur Rifles Banquet Hall and was attended by PHE minister Hemochandra Singh as the president of today`™s function, Dr Th MP Meinya Singh, chief secretary O Nabakishore Singh, DGP Shahid Ahmed, GOC 57 Mtn Division Maj Gen PN Rao, officers, troops and families of 165 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) (Home and Hearth) besides many civil dignitaries of Manipur government.
Lieutenant Colonel S Anup Singh, Officiating Commanding Officer of 165 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) (Home and Hearth) in his vote of thanks assured the Chief Minister of continuing the good work being done by the unit and in bridging the gap between the local populace and the security forces thus helping the security force to gain goodwill of the population.