Imphal: Floral tributes for the martyrs of the Anglo-Manipur War, 1891 were offered at Thoubal Athokpam in a programme jointly organised by Sanakhya Yaiskullakpa, Sanakhya Sengoisana Memorial Committee of Ningthemcha Ningsing Lup and Justice Committee on Anglo Manipur War, 1891 on Thursday.
Paying floral tributes to Sanakhya Yaiskullakpa and Macha Ibungo Sanakhya Sengoisana and the warriors who laid down their lives in the
Anglo-Manipur War at the historical site in Thoubal Athokpam, the gathering recalled the bravery of the martyrs.
In a press release, convener of the committee T Birjit said that then Assam Chief Commissioner J.W. Quinton under an order of the British India Government attacked Kangla palace in the early hours of morning on March 24, 1891 to arrest Tikendrajit Jubaraj. Manipur Army and British engaged in a fierce battle. Having dominated the British Army, Manipur killed five British officers including Assam Chief Commissioner, J.W. Quinton, British Political Agent in Manipur, on Bugler, apart from killing Mayangkhang Telegraph Office Superintendent Mr. Metville and Signaler O ’Brien. British Army Jamandar Birbal Nagarkatina went to Burma’s Tamuda and reported to Lieut. Grant about the killings.
British declared war against Manipur on March 31, 1891. One column of British Army led by Lieut. Grant invaded Manipur from Tamu side. Getting information about the invasion, Manipur Royal Palace deployed 100 Manipur Army led by Yengkholba Major General to defend the invading British.
Subsequently, 300 Manipur Army led by Manao Ibungo Angousana, Sanakhwa Lokendrabirjit Wangkheirakpa, Sanakhwa Jillangasmba (Ibungsi Dolaireng Hanjaba), Sanakhwa Yaiskullakpa, Macha Ibungo Shengoisana, Chongthamcha Ayapurel Major, Wangkhei Meiraba Poila were deployed. Manipur Army first encountered with the British at Arongkhong, Tomjing Chingthak, Thoubaida. Latter, they fought with the British at Thoubal Athokpam. Lieut Grant and Nagarkati were hurt by bullet and the British troupe retreated and climbed up Pallel hill.
In the battle, 20 brave Manipur Army including Sanakhwa Yaiskullakpa and Macha Ibungo Shengoisana laid down their lives to defend the sovereignty of Manipur. On British side, several soldiers suffered casualty, he recounted.
He further lamented that although a monument of British Army is erected at the historical site of Thoubal Athokpam battle, no monument for Manipur Army who laid down their lives for the motherland is yet to be erected.
He drew the attention of the state government to establish a proper memorial monument in the historical site in order to immortalize the bravery of the bereaved souls.