A brief note on Manipur and the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72
- Part 2 -

Prof N Lokendra Singh *

 The inscription on stones at Chibu
Original Inscription on Chebu stone :: Pix - TSE

3. Translation of the Inscription at Chibu

The inscription on stones at Chibu, erected during the operation, is variously translated by different authorities. We provide here one translation given by late Professor Gangmumei Kamei. [Fig 1. Original Inscription on Chebu stone]

Shri Panchajukta Manipur eshwara Laairen Maitingngu Naauchinglen Nongtrenkhompaa Shrijut Chandra Kirti Singh
Mahaaraajaanaa Khaaki Lusei Haao loichanbaa Laaishrabaa Purna Singnaa Chaithaabaa kum shak 1793
Waakching thaaki humni paanbaa Thaangjaa numittaa Shrijut Snaa thaukan chatpati
Shri Saukaaichamchaa Balaam Singh Ahalup Laakpaa Tulihan Major Shri Kaangngabamchaa Thaanggaan
Laaipham Laakpaa Tuli Naahaa Major 2 manaachingbaa Shrijut Jarnel Naathan Saahep Sardaar
130 nongmai 2000 asi loinai loihaa pot saamu maayaa senpung asi purak-i thumkhong asi huklam-i
Shrijutki Paada Chinha thanam-i, Loichalakpa Haaokhunti Poichoine Lengkhamne
Daambar bum Haagal asinachingpaa khunkang 112 asi loi chanrak-i.
Shri Lusei Chingpaa Ningthau 4 Khunkang 1 khomlak-i.

Prof. Gangmumei Kamei's Translation
[Source: History of Modern Manipur, pp. 98-99]

"His Highness endowed with the five qualities, Lord of Manipur,
Snake king of the Meiteis, born to the throne, ruler of the land,
the Maharaja Chandra Kirti Singh, on Saturday, 3rd Wakching of the year,
1793 of the Sakabda "era" when Laisraba Purna Singh was Cheithaba reduced to a subjection the Lushai towards the south.
The two servants of His Highness who attended (him) were Saukaichamba Balaram Singh, Steward of Ahallup,
Major of the Tulihal Regiment, and Thangal born of the Kangaba caste (lineage),
Steward of Laifam Major of the Tulinahal Regiment with whom were General Nuthall,
130 officers and 2000 muskets".
"They took as tribute elephant tusks and gong dedicated this brine spring and carved here these foot prints of His Highness."
"They subdued the following Hao (tribal) villages, Poiboi, Lengkham, Dambam etc
and 112 villages and including Thankhalat, the Lushai, they captured four-chiefs and one village.
Written by Nongchamba Dhornemar, Wahangba, Sijamawa (royal brother-in-law), Pratap Singh and Gokulchandra the Chief Salt Agent."

4. Account of Major-General W.F. Nuthall, commanding Manipur column

[Source: NAI, FP, August 1872, No. 83: Nuthall to Aitchison, 12 April 1872]

Maj-Gen. Nuthall, in his report to the GoI, narrated the events associated with Manipur column under his command. On 31 December 1871, he said that two messengers from Lushai chief Poiboi visited the camp and submitted "a little girl of 11 years of age, who had been captured about two years previously". On 5 January 1872, another two messengers from the same chief arrived again.

On 10 January 1872, sent an escort party to rescue the villagers of Boonjong (40 miles from Chibu) who had escaped from Lushai chiefs Leenkoom. The escort party brought 227 persons (64 men, 58 women, 105 children).

On 12 January 1872, Lushai chief Damboom came to the camp with a huge number of armed followers and informing Maj-Gen. Nuthall of the "sincerity of Poiboi's regret for their past misdeeds, and promise of future goodwill, but entreated that the troops should not be allowed to advance upon their villages".

13 January 1872, Nuthall reported, Damboom took an oath "by sacrificing in midstream a dog, previously baptized with spirits, swearing never again to make raid upon the Maharaja's territory".

The Lushai chief left on the 14th with a promise to visit again. Two Kuki messengers were sent with Damboom with a letter for Brig-Gen Bourchier and also to get an interview with Poiboi. On 25 January 1872, the Kuki messengers returned from Poiboi came with chief Damboom (accompanied by at least 300 hundred armed followers and inferior leaders). He was "delegated by Poiboi to make terms of future friendship with the Maharaja".

The next day, Damboom and his followers were allowed inside the Camp and a treaty was accordingly struck. (Please see the Manipur-Lushai Treaty, below). On 29 January 1872, when Damboom left the camp, Nuthall also left for Imphal. Due to shortage of food and an outbreak of "effluvia" in the Camp, the troops were withdrawn to Lultubboong. Nuthall returned on 8 February 1872. Chibu camp was, however, reoccupied on 27 February 1872.

During the absence of the troops at Chibu, the Kamhows "threw two forces across the frontier to attack the Looshais, against Lalboorah's clan in the south and Boomhang's clan in the north". On 13 February 1872, "373 Sooti or Sooktie refugees (with 18 muskets) from Poiboi's northern villages" arrived at Lultubboong camp. The next day, 392 Koongjai Kookee who escaped from Poiboi's northern villages were also brought to the Camp.

On 20 February 1872, the Maharaja himself arrived at Moirang at the head of sufficient forces and proceeded the next day to Lultubboong and then to Koongshangkool. On 27 February 1872, Chibu Camp was re-occupied. On 1 March 1872, a letter from Brig-Gen. Bourchier was received informing that "the expedition had been brought to a conclusion, and he no longer required the services of the Contingent".

The Manipur's column was then withdrawn from Chibu to Situl Subhum, a depot 9 miles north-west of Chibu, on 6 March 1872. On the morning of 7 March 1872, a large group of people (962 persons 302 men, 311 women, and 349 children) under the escort of chief Kokatung party was passing near the camp. They were invited into the camp where a conference was held with the two Majors.

Nuthall remarked:
"The Majors were determined at all hazards to disarm and capture the force. With this end, they got the chiefs into familiar conversation, handed them a percussion musket to try, and asked to try theirs, and having by this means discharged the three muskets of the three Chiefs at once had them seized, whereupon Kokatung putting his forefingers in his mouth gave a whistle and his whole force stood to arms. A momentary struggle ensued, in which his force was overpowered, and besides the three Chiefs fifty-three of their followers were made prisoners, and fifty-four muskets taken. Four of the Contingent were wounded".

Nuthall wrote to Maharaj Chandrakirti Singh on 16 April 1872, saying that he had "the good fortune to intercept a force of Kamhow's carrying off to their hills 962 of the inhabitants of Looshai villages, which they had completely devastated".

II. Controversy over Kokatung's imprisonment

The arrest of Kokatung (Goukhothang) and his men sparked a good deal of controversy among the British officers who were involved in the operations. It centres on two points: first, the authority of Maj-Gen. Nuthall; second, the relationship between Manipur and the Kamhows.

While Nuthall justified his position at Chebu as a strategic point to secure the fidelity of the Kamhows in the ongoing operations, the Cachar officers felt that he had not obeyed order to encamp at Tseklapi, the southern frontier post. This conflict of authority led them to defend their own position that centre on the arrest of Kokatung.

Nuthall defended the arrest of Kokatung and his party at Chibu although he was not there at the time of arrest. He argued that since the 1830s the relationship between Manipur and Kamhows was hostile, citing the cases of raids on Manipur's territory till about 1871 and on the Lushai villages during the Expedition.

This justification was repudiated by the Cachar Officers, arguing that Kamhows (Suktes) were in good terms with Manipur before and during the Expedition and hence the arrest was "an act of treachery". The fact that Kokatung entered the Chibu Camp with a friendly gesture, argued J.W. Edgar, the Political Officer of Lushai Expedition, was a proof of peaceful relationship that existed between them at that time.

Alexander Mackenzie (1884) later tried to bring all the facts together and explained that the question of whether the Suktes (Kamhows) were at this time in good terms with Manipur was "a disputed one". He was later joined by B.S. Carey & H.N. Tuck who, after collecting information from those Chins who were among those arrested at Chibu, presented their view, saying that the chief and his party were "treacherously seized'.

To be continued .....

* Prof N Lokendra Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Prof N Lokendra Singh is the Head of Department of History, Manipur University
This article was webcasted on July 092020.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Mera Chaorel Houba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Chingangbam Ranju: Gold in Skateboarding
  • Clean India Campaign 2022 at MU
  • Prof without a PhD
  • Bio-security to prevent diseases in livestock
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Befitting response from 'unwanted' parents
  • Stand of STDCM & WMC : ST demand
  • Lamyanba Irawat Birth Anniv #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • North East cheers for now
  • Loving Her :: Poem
  • Revoke Show Cause Notice to Dr Sanatomba
  • This Gujarat Model is worth replicating
  • The age-old art of Chola bronze statues
  • Laklaroi Amuk Hanna Yeningtha #2 : Gallery
  • October Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Old Lambulane, was a trend setting locality
  • Agniveer recruitment rally at Mizoram
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #3
  • The ground zero of gratitude
  • Eye makeup products every girl should have
  • Another statewide observance of Irabot Day
  • Saluting the Lamyanba : Respecting dissent
  • How does the full moon make waves...
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Legalising production & sale of liquor
  • RKCS Children's Painting Competition
  • Online Essay Competition
  • Significance of World Heart Day 2022
  • A kind of feeling :: Poem
  • Free rice and plight of state's farmers
  • Lifting prohibition after 3 decades
  • Linthoi Chanambam : First Judo Gold Medalist
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #4: Gallery
  • Sore Admiration :: Poem
  • Accountant Assistant @ Amber & Arthur
  • World Heart Day 2022
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Plastic menace: Time over for warning
  • Promoting cycling in Imphal
  • Mera Chaorel Houba @ Kangla #1 :: Gallery
  • Tripura Fashion Week @ Agartala :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • ST status demands in India #2
  • Socio-cultural tourism in NE India
  • Investigation against CRPF Personal
  • Backache in diabetics: Never ignore it
  • 'Poison' liquor still favourite for commoners
  • What has happened to the ban on SUP ?
  • Maibi Jagoi @ Thangjing Haraoba :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Plantation
  • World Pharmacists Day 2022
  • Workshop of Wildlife Crime Prevention
  • Genius is knowing when to stop !
  • Naga final pact as Nagaland polls near
  • Lifting prohibition : Talk of the day
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa @ Andro #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Fingerlings
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • World River Day & our environment
  • Nubank : banking industry in Brazil
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • From High Court to Supreme Court ?
  • Lokchao Bridge @ NH 102 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • What were Phizo's last words to Khodao?
  • Priyadarshini, Priyanka: Everest Taekwondo
  • I swear :: Poem
  • Incomplete lifting of prohibition
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #2
  • Wakhal Eronba- Sumang Leela #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Arbin Tonjam: best designer - Miss Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Ithing
  • Ferry to Ganges :: Poem
  • Making public health messaging entertaining
  • Student schooling order exposes fault...
  • Discipline : The common thread
  • Camping @ Shirui Lily Fest #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Youth : An idea can change the world
  • Perceived class conflict triggers friction ...
  • The tale of a forgotten diary
  • Face Redness- How to get rid of it
  • CADA - Govt on collision course
  • Inching towards a final pact ?
  • Border Pillar Inspection @Kamjong :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Strange bed fellows attempting to cohabit
  • Training for entrepreneur in Food Processing
  • Recalling Alzheimer once again !
  • New Education Policy : The CUET rigmarole
  • Liquor for better health! Indigestible
  • Now focus on ST demand
  • Byron Aihara - A True Lover of Manipur
  • International Day of Peace 2022
  • Human Capital Formation, need of the hour
  • Prevention is better than cure !!
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #1
  • Security Conference at Tamenglong
  • Concrete action must follow 'CM Da Haisi'
  • Tag of a dry State for the last 30 years
  • Pungyam Yeiba Fest @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • National Bamboo Innovation Challenge
  • International Day of Peace & environment
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha: Social Service
  • World Bamboo Day celebrated
  • Domestic capitalists unwilling to trust & invest
  • Street food vogue boon for youth
  • Sit-ins demanding inclusion in ST list
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #3
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to attend UN General Assembly
  • Screenwriters invited to 6-month screenlab
  • An ideal civil servant
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • Taking the customer for granted
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #2 :: Gallery
  • Irabot Ningsing Tha : Jagoi Competition
  • Bringing drug users to mainstream society
  • Namo Birthday special: India matters globally
  • Criticizes village occupation in Ukhrul
  • Use of local agri wastes as substrate
  • Jiribam Keithel [15 June] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Boeing University Innovation Leadership
  • ST status demands in India #1
  • Literacy enhancement as a career choice
  • Agniveer recruitment rally at Assam
  • Ignoring the perfect solution to everything
  • Eyeing to end insurgency in next 5 years
  • Laklaroi Amuk Hanna Yeningtha #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Muslim (Pangal) Historical Society
  • 7th election: NE Student Org, Jalandhar
  • Macnivil releases new song: Price they'll pay
  • Youth advocating for sexual health & rights
  • Engineers : The backbone of any Nation
  • IBSD celebrated Hindi Diwas
  • Who is at fault for shrinking roads?
  • After 25 years of negotiations
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Joint Accordant by NSCN/GPRN & NNPGs
  • In search of Khubak Ishei
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Bishnupur
  • Beauty benefits of Amla
  • STDCM sets sight on bandh to draw Govt
  • The unplanned city of Imphal Concrete jungle
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #2
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Constitution & flag still dogs settlement
  • Churachandpur - The chaos and mess !
  • Rice Afrika is using tech to increase rice
  • Voluntary Blood Donation: An act of solidarity
  • Nagaland desperate for solution to Naga issue
  • Final solution likely very soon: Note key word
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Is there a need for another Nupi Lan ?
  • Consultation: Development at Lairouching
  • Bullying : Losing of children's dignity
  • Social Entrepreneur, social currency they earn
  • AMSU in dire need of support of CSOs
  • Mum on the points of JCILPS, STDCM
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st Anniv: The Keithel Store Pune :: Gallery
  • Beyond Teachers' Day
  • On farm production of Mycorrhizae
  • Onam and the legend behind it
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Fake voters testify official nepotism
  • From 1999 to 2022 : TSE is now 23
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #3 :: Gallery
  • Kholao Deben went with the Queen
  • Imaginary grudge severs human relations
  • A Phenomenally Him :: Poem
  • Bharat Jodo Yatra: Last ditch effort...
  • Special Lok Adalat for Imphal & Bishnupur
  • Pineapple Fest @Bunglon, CCpur :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead by living
  • Book review: Aeromycology over Kachai lemon
  • On saying Hello
  • Himalayan Day celebrated at IBSD, Imphal
  • Get rid of strawberry legs at home
  • Manipuri driver primary source of 'Loyalty tax'
  • The 'tax-extortion' argument
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • [Jobs] Biotechnology ignition grant for NE
  • 1st Anniversary of The Keithel Store Pune
  • International Literacy Day & our Environment
  • 1 Lakh Hand Sanitizer Bottles handed over
  • Pinning hope on Sangai fest to draw tourists
  • Points to study from Mizoram
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Schedule Tribe Demand, Recent cries
  • Intricacies of core issue in Naga insurgency
  • On Poiroukhongjin High School issue
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2022
  • Condemn physical assault on women vendor
  • Scoundrel official undermining essence of ILP
  • Is the ban on SUP effective ?
  • Ayekpam Shyamsunder's life & works
  • Book release: 'Osman Thambal' at Imphal
  • World Sexual Health Day celebrated in NE
  • Manipur Tech Univ: top at India Hackathon
  • Insomnia :: Poem
  • Change - Inside Out!
  • Biological control in agriculture #2
  • Nearest-to-home posting of teachers policy
  • Addressing shortage of teachers
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #6 :: Gallery
  • Ancient Manipur kingdom and Brahmanism
  • Teachers' role in multicultural North East
  • Regarding closing 34 Assam govt schools
  • mPharma is revolutioning access to medicine
  • Asking to believe as we receive
  • 10 years of TPC: Success collectively shared
  • Significance of observing Teachers' Day
  • Krishna Janma @ ISKCON :: Gallery
  • Growing support globally to end HIV medicine
  • Teachers' Day & My Rumbling Thoughts
  • Soibam Bindeshori : Indian Prime Icon Award
  • Can't public figures drink & dance
  • Climate emergency
  • Jumping ship trademark of state's politicians
  • Switching side from JD (U) to BJP
  • Sit-in for Meetei ST @ Kongba :: Gallery
  • Meira Rally against Drug Traffic #2 :: Gallery
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #2 :: Gallery
  • Reception of Linthoi Chanambam :: Gallery
  • Jiribam Train station [15 Jun] :: Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang - Martyr Day :: Gallery
  • 13 August observed by CSOs :: Gallery
  • Mirabai Chanu: gold @ Commonwealth Game
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download