|But Subhas Bose
fell in with Japan's major decision for an attack on the NEFA
in Assam and the state of Manipur to breach the Burma road of
In the middle of March 1944, the 1st Division
of the INA led by Col. M Z Kiani moved towards Imphal in Manipur.
Another battalion of the Subhas Brigade moved to the Burma-India
frontiers to coordinate the planned actions with Japan's 55th
Division in the Arakan segment.
In the Arakans, the British attack was led
by the 31 West African division. While the INA threatened
British control of Chittagong in undivided Bengal, the main
Nippon-INA force advanced towards Manipur and Assam.
The INA under Subhas Bose's command had extracted
the status of an allied Army whose own laws applied to its
own men. Bose had also obtained an explicit assurance from
the Japanese government that any part of Indian territory
thus liberated would pass under immediate administrative control
of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind.
Both concessions of Japan were unpopular
with Japan's military, especially with the generals of the
Burma Army. They blamed Subhas Bose's influence on Premier
Tojo for the unprecedented concessions Japan had not conceded
to Burma after the latter was proclaimed an independent country
on August 1, 1943. Indeed, the Burma Defence Army led by Gen.
Aung San, who had long relationship with Japan, was never
allowed to fight alongside the regular Japanese military formations
on any battlefield.