TODAY -

Sana Chahi Ahum and the Manipuris in 1857 revolt
- Part 1 -

Yumkhaibam Shyam Singh *



Manipuri Prince Sana Chahi Ahum, aka "Narendrajit Singh/Ranajit Singh", was a recorded leader of 1857 Revolt. He participated in the great uprising by joining the mutineers of the 34th Native Infantry, Chittagong when the latter entered into Cachar, the Barak Valley of Assam. On the prince's participation in the revolt, McCulloch, the then Political Agent at Imphal, expressed: "Shortly after the mutineers entered Cachar, they were joined by the Prince, Narendrojeet Sing who was at large."

For the great role the prince played in the revolt, he was recorded as a leader with the remark: "He joined the Chittagong mutineers with his followers." In this great uprising, the kingdom of Manipur too did not remain silent as its Raja Chandrakirti Singh and some of his courtiers supported the British heart and soul. But the Raja's people stood united against the British Government by refusing to join the recruitment rally of the "Manipur Regiment" designed to check the revolt related events in the region. They also extended psychological support to the cause of Sana Chahi Ahum.

Raja Chourjit Singh (father of Sana Chahi Ahum), being expelled from Manipur by his brother Marjit Singh in 1813, took shelter in Cachar (Kachari Kingdom) along with his brother Gambhir Singh. In Cachar, Gambhir Singh became the Commander-in-Chief of the Cachar Army under its Kachari Raja Govindchandra (1813-1830). But these Manipuri princes ousted Raja Govindchandra from Cachar and ruled over South Cachar from 1818 to 1823.

Chourjit Singh ruled over the south eastern part of Cachar making Dungurirpar his capital, and Gambhir Singh- the northern part making Gumra his Capital. When Marjit Singh joined them (1819), he was given Hailakandi (now a district of Assam). It was during this time at Dungurirpar that Raja Chourjit Singh was blessed with his son Sana Chahi Ahum on Tuesday, the 27th April, 1819. But the prince grew up at Jaribon (in Hailakandi) when the Barak Valley became a hot spot of the British economic and political activities.

As his elders defended Jaribon region with fire arms against Kuki raids, the prince had a good knowledge of the weapon. After the death of Raja Gambhir Singh on 9th January, 1834, Nur Singh became the Regent of Raja Chandrakirti Singh. But the former, being a distant member of the ruling family of Manipur, had many rival princes. Consequently, Tribhubanjit Singh, an elder brother of Sana Chahi Ahum, revolted against the Government of Manipur in May 1841, but the prince was killed at the capital of Manipur.

This event was a great shock of all the Manipuris living in Cachar. Therefore, three Princes- Pabitra Singh, Khoiraba (Leelumbar/Neelumbar) and young Sana Chahi Ahum, planned for another revolt against the Government of Manipur.

Being aware of the new development in Cachar, and also owing to the request of the Political Agent at Imphal, Captain Lyons, the then Superintendent of Cachar, arrested those three princes on 16th October, 1841, and they were removed to Dacca by an order of the Government: "H. L in Cl. (His Lordship in Council) is of opinion that the persons, Parbittar Sing, Khairaba and the brother of the late Triboobanjeet (Sana Chahi Ahum), should be removed to Dacca and detained there under such precautionary surveillance as may prevent their return to the hills without the knowledge and sanction of Government."

As Sana Chahi Ahum had not done any harm directly towards the British Government, he submitted a petition on 25th April, 1842 with "complaints of being illegally imprisoned by the Superintendent of Cachar & solicits Government to direct his release." But the prince's request was a far cry. Later, on the request of Raja Chandrakirti Singh, those three princes including Sana Chahi Ahum were released from Dacca by an order of the 7th November, 1851. Hence, Sana Chahi Ahum was under surveillance at Tejgong, Dacca for about ten years.

This haughty disposition of the Superintendent of Cachar and the surveillance in Dacca rendered Sana Chahi Ahum to become a serious enemy of the British Government. On the other hand, the prince was exposed to the then Indian politics and also to the resources and capability of the British Indian Empire. It ingrained in his mind- that until and unless a united Indian power confronted, the British rule in India would remain forever.

Coming back to Cachar, Sana Chahi Ahum did not join the revolts against Manipur of Leelumbar, Null and Kanhai in November, 1852, and that of Wangkheirakpa, Kanhai and Kishor Singh in January 1856. It appears that, with matured mind, the prince was waiting eagerly for a right moment to strike and expel the British Government from India in general and Cachar in particular. At this juncture, the mutiny of sepoys inflamed Meerut and Delhi (May, 1857) declaring Bahadur Shah Zafar as their king.

The unrest of the sepoys reverberated around Chittagong and, consequently, three companies of the 34th Native Infantry of that district mutinied on 18th November, 1857, and marched towards Dacca so that they could join there with the 73rd Native Infantry and drift united towards Delhi for a common cause against the British.

On the real motive of the sepoys of Chittagong, a special narrative of the Govt. of Bengal expressed: "Two of the mutineers, were captured by the police of Noacolly and the villagers, on being interrogated, stated that on leaving Chittagong the detachment had intended to proceed to Delhi, but hearing that the road to the north west had been closed by Europeans, they were marching eastward with a view of reaching Munipoor, and obtaining protection of the Rajah of that country."

Therefore, those tired sepoys and their families moved along the route leading to Manipur. On 17th December, 1857, when the mutineers crossed Sleingajeah (near Pratapgarh) for Latu, the Sylhet Light Infantry (British Army) led by Major R.P.V. Byng got the intelligence of their movement. Chasing them without delay, the Major's army could intercept the mutineers at Latu (Karimganj District, Assam) in the morning of the 18th December.

In the ensuing battle at the Malegarh Hills, Latu, when Major R.P.V. Byng was shot down, the mutineer's called out to the Indian sepoys of the British Army: "Now we have killed the Sahib come and join us." On the same area, C E Buckland also wrote: "The rebel sepoys, by solicitations and taunts, tried all in their power to prevent the Hindustanis who formed half of the small force (Byng's army)." These historic battlefield cries of the Chittagong mutineers showed their fellow feeling to all the Hindustani sepoys of the British Army without any tinge of caste, race and religion. With this high Hindustani (Indian) feeling, the Chittagong mutineers entered into the Barak Valley on 20th December, 1857.

In Cachar, the news of the mutiny at Chittagong and the sepoys march towards north was heard in the first week of December. Therefore, R. Stewart, the then Superintendent, remained alert. When the intelligence of the Battle of Latu was received in the night of the 19th December, the Superintendent, for security reason, arrested six Manipuri Princes of Cachar viz., Sangie Thapa, Kunnai Sing, Mypha, Hawjaw, Khem Sing and Khoirakpa. As Sana Chahi Ahum remained underground before that day, he could not be arrested.

Entering into the Barak Valley, the mutineers did not take the popular route to Panchgan where Lt. Ross and his British Army were taking position. Instead, they took more secured but dangerous mountainous pass through Sarespore Hills. They also passed the village of Companygunge at night evading the glimpse of the British Army. Lt. Ross reported that the mutineers had split into three to four groups and all were trying to enter into the district of Cachar.

These statements reveal that apparently Sana Chahi Ahum's party was cleverly guiding the mutineers towards the Bhuban Hills for rest and reorganization of the force with numerous Manipuris around. On their long march, a Manipuri tradition of Cachar expressed, "As the arms and ammunitions were in great number, the prince loaded some of them in a boat and concealed it at Kalapahar near Jaribond."

Reaching the Bhuban Hills, Sana Chahi Ahum reorganised the united force enhancing its fighting power and decided then to occupy Cachar as a part of the expulsion of the British from India. With this objective, a conspiracy was also hatched involving the people of Cachar and its Jail staff for the escape of those arrested Manipuri Princes. On the conspiracy, Longjam Roma Singh, a major of the then Manipur Army, informed the Superintendent that on certain day they would all make their escape and join the mutineers.

This warning came true as the six princes escaped in the evening of the 10th January, 1858. Since the event was a conspiracy, the Superintendent took up punishing steps on his Jail staff. R. Stewart reported: "I found the jail Darogah guilty of having allowed the prisoners to be outside the jail precincts after dark and sentenced him to suspension from employment for 6 months and I found the Burkandage guilty of extreme neglect of duty in having quitted his charge and dismissed him."

(To be contd)


* Yumkhaibam Shyam Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a teacher at Imphal College
This article was webcasted on January 02, 2019.



* 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 e-pao.net. 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.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Stunted Agriculture: policy failure
  • Kashmir Lockdown & its Implications
  • Dr Ak Priyokumar : Golden Achiever Award
  • Amazing beauty benefits of sea salt
  • Women entrepreneurship program in NE
  • Critically endangered species : Pony
  • Rescue for the degrading environment
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 1
  • Foundation of School Fagathansi Mission
  • Healing Leadership- Need of the Hour
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Police : A friend or a foe ?
  • Cry of a Dying River - 90 :: Poem
  • King Leishemba attended HUNIC, Thailand
  • MBA in Global Supply Chain Management
  • Significance of Aug to NSCN (IM)
  • Restoring public education system
  • Lai-Harouba @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai fest: Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Our Destiny Lies Only In Our Unity
  • Hanging : Suicide or homicide ?
  • Trainees from Ukhrul selected as Air Crew
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • NPF met with Nagaland Governor
  • NH7 Weekender Artists for Meghalaya
  • NH7 Weekender Artists for Pune
  • Studying how schools are run
  • Nature- the answer to global warming
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • TB is preventable & curable
  • Fake :: Poem
  • Pradhan Mantriji's 'Leirum Lengyan'
  • B Voc / M Voc courses at DM College
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Awareness Program on Child Rights
  • Mountain Echoes, Bhutan Festival
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Nation's Cup, Serbia
  • Th Muivah : Man in the news
  • Doctors: scapegoats of a faulty system
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • Chinguremba, Adon Yanglen :: eMing
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • GojiLove : Top 20 biggest startup of India
  • Manju & Aneshori : Bismillah Award 2018
  • Healthy & active lifestyle: A healthy Manipur
  • Football Kits Distribution at Kshetrigao
  • Reiterating ST status demand for Meiteis
  • Lapses of duty and knowledge
  • NSCN (IM) against Ravi as Interlocutor
  • Nagaland Nagas need a common platform
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • 13 August: Day to remember the heroes #2
  • Dynamic groundwater resources...
  • Lukanand Ksh & Langpoklakpam Melody
  • Meiraba winner @ All India Badminton
  • Archers win at World Police & Fire Games
  • 73rd Independence Day: One Constitution
  • Preparatory Revision Course at Sanakeithel
  • IIT Guwahati's half marathon
  • Getting the best out of Govt schools
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • A Soldier speaks over Timeline of Kashmir
  • Tamenglong not be used as a money field
  • Food intolerance - Diagnosis & tests
  • That Jungle of a Garden :: Poem
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Saving future Manipur- need of the hour
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #9
  • Independence Day : Gallery
  • Suicide: how it looks like & what is
  • Manipur's 1st photojournalist, Santosh Ph
  • Mutum Ramo : President's Police Medal
  • A Letter to my Mother
  • Candle Light at Delhi for Babysana
  • In search of the elusive unity
  • Naga solution anytime soon, says Ravi
  • Landscape Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Indigeneity: Expression & Experience : Book
  • Cry of a Dying River - 89 :: Poem
  • Career in youth development
  • The Wind Will Carry Us : Film screening
  • Communication Course for Development
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #1
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: An emerging failed Dam
  • New India in Konung Lampak
  • High Court & Workers on Sand Quarrying
  • Niranjoy attempt to break Guinness Record
  • Scripting Congress Mukt slogan
  • Bharat Mata has no place on August 13
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #1 : Gallery
  • 13 August: Day to remember the heroes #1
  • Jallianwala: Manglen Onkhraba Lamjao
  • Lets us preserve indigenous languages
  • Hepatitis and pregnancy
  • On statement by Hoho & Naga Mother
  • Thangmeiband : Distasteful politics
  • Remembering patriots
  • UN Human Rights: Manipur Experience #5
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Historical War fought by Manipur :: Articles
  • Police adapting to challenge by trafficking
  • Preventing TB is rooted in medical ethics
  • In the name of Love :: Poem
  • Expensive motor laws on the way
  • 13th August observed at Pune
  • Youth conclave with a difference
  • Alarming State of Students Life in Manipur
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #1: Gallery
  • On Manipur Handlooms: A Clarion Call
  • Dzuko - A piece of heaven on earth #2
  • Of Colours and Sunset
  • A Beautiful Mind :: Poem
  • An apple a day keeps wrinkles at bay
  • From hostels to the school
  • Renaissance of Meitei Hinduism
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #2: Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Azha - Id Festival :: Book
  • Would any journalist dare to stand up #2
  • Artic Haobam won 1st ArP championship
  • Invitation : RIST Talk - 40 @ MU
  • Condole demise of Phanjoubam Santosh
  • Making a New India & fate of Manipur
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #1: Gallery
  • Some basics that many people ignored
  • House building of the Zeliangrong #2
  • Condolence : Photo Jounalist Ph Santosh
  • World Indigenous Peoples at Khumulwng
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Zo Forum celebrates Indigenous day
  • Lukanand Ksh wins at Mister North East
  • Post mortem reports fail to cut ice
  • Babysana: Student protest- Aug 8: Gallery
  • Counterpoints: Transgender Rights Bill #2
  • Manipur topped rankings in Breastfeeding
  • Cry of a Dying River - 88 :: Poem
  • World Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Criticizes scrapping of Article 370
  • Naga leader compromise Naga future
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Another bandh after 12 hours bandh over
  • Babysana death: What ails this society
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Programm @Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • 'Tamenglong & Manipur' Amur Falcons #2
  • Haris Adhikari: Finest Whiskey in Writing
  • Manipur bag 6 medals at National Fencing
  • Agriculture and skill training
  • Resolutions on Naga Political Issue
  • Need for Imphal to reach out to hill CSO
  • ..should be justice for 1000s babysanas
  • Ibudhou Pakhangba Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Mob Culture in Manipur
  • Dzuko - A piece of heaven on earth #1
  • Abrogation of Article 370
  • Issue of illegal mining of minor minerals
  • Annual Legal Awareness Program at Pune
  • Power, Works back to Biswajit
  • Redefining India
  • Gandhari (Dance Drama) #1 : Gallery
  • Would any journalist dare to stand up #1
  • The Truth Lie :: Poem
  • An opportunity to end AIDS & TB
  • Soft skills?? What are soft skills
  • Community - Road to healthy environment
  • Scrapping Articles 370, 35A
  • Matsyanyaya: Law of the Fish
  • Babysana: protest @Khuyathong : Gallery
  • Road from Haochong to Noney : Gallery
  • House building of the Zeliangrong #1
  • The World We Want
  • My Lil' Hamlet :: Poem
  • CM meet with CSO: Naga solution at hand?
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Old Age Home Kumbi : Gallery
  • Counterpoints: Transgender Rights Bill #1
  • 'Tamenglong & Manipur' Amur Falcons #1
  • Vocationalisation of education in Manipur
  • Tourism Festivals & Tourists in Manipur
  • The World Turned Upside Down :: Poem
  • Think about the future
  • Nachom : used traditionally by Meitei
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Trend of private drug rehabilitation centre
  • Saffronites unhappy with power politics
  • IABP (Balloon Pump) saved life
  • Mega Mister & Miss North East
  • Anti-terror laws & victimization of innocent
  • The state today: blame the representative
  • Will remain true to Framework : IM
  • Laonii Fest @Phuba #1 : Gallery
  • No #endAIDS without #endTB
  • Cry of a Dying River - 87 :: Poem
  • Green your skills for green jobs
  • Ji Ingobi Chingtham: Bicycle tour
  • Will surrogacy law be really effective?
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 14 hours out of 24 hours
  • When people turn violent against HC order
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • August Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • Parade @ Manipur Police, Pangei: Gallery
  • War with Climate
  • Matric, UG & PG days of an aerobiologist
  • Invitation : Workshop on Mathematica
  • Job vacancies at Makok Technologies
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Arrested but not on murder charge
  • Threatened future and the way out
  • Downside of Khuga Multipurpose Project
  • Manipur State Drug Policy #2
  • Scope of career in legal field
  • Demising the Adolescent Miss :: Poem
  • Threats against Rights defender Sobita
  • Demands action against scribe-assailants
  • Back home after Delhi's suggestion
  • Babysana's death and its questions
  • Licypriya: Abdul Kalam Children Award 2019
  • Two positives attracting each other
  • Kakching World War-II Memorial Run
  • Assessment your Tax for ITR
  • Who is responsible ?
  • Rejoinder to branding me as Fortune Teller
  • From Dec 8, 2016 to July 29, 2019
  • Of faith and failed justice
  • Neli Chachea: Doll Maker : Gallery
  • Traditional Practices of the Kukis: Book
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #4: Gallery
  • CMHT cards to journalists : Gallery
  • Twinkle Twinkle Scientists Star
  • Rohan Philem Reception @Pune : Gallery
  • General strike on Babysana : Gallery
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Nupi Pali @ Kang festival: Gallery
  • Sanamahi Cheng Hongba #2: Gallery
  • Weaving at Nongpok Sanjenbam : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Social service @ Moirang : Gallery
  • World Music Day @Yaiskul #3: Gallery
  • 3rd Singcha Wuyawon Festival 2019
  • seL tiHZakaNdta nuHZa_Iba :: Seireng
  • Cracks at Thong Nambonbi : Gallery
  • Yumnam Shamu : Natbhusan (Duhar)
  • The Great June Uprising #5: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS