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Arunachal govt urged to recognize war heroes of Anglo Abor war

ITANAGAR: The Adi Baane Kebang Women Wing (ABKWW) made its second and third leg of visit to other war memorials at Komsing in Siang and Dambuk in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh recently with the family members of war martyrs.

The visit to war memorials of freedom fighters like late Lunrung Tamuk and late Matmur Jamoh at Komsing village under Siang District where graveyard of late Noel Williamson, a British Assistant Political Officer, who was killed by late Tamuk and Jamoh in the year 1911, raised the need for a common war memorial associated with a museum by the state government.

The war memorial of late Matmur Jamoh constructed just beside the memorials of late Lunrung Tamuk and late Noel Williamson are in dilapidated and ruined condition although the memorial of late Lunrung Tamuk is in good condition as it was constructed in recent years.

To narrate the sacrifice and struggle of late Lunrung Tamuk, one of the valorous freedom fighters among the Adis, Takeng Tamuk, great grandson of late Lunrung Tamuk led the visiting team .

Tamuk said that he and his family members heartily welcome the move of Adi Baane Kebang Women Wing for the construction of a common war memorial associated with a museum besides the demand for recognition of war heroes by introducing the history of freedom fighters of the Adi community in the history textbook of schools in the Adi inhabited areas.

Takeng Tamuk, who is a teacher, fondly recalls the orally narrated history of his great grandfather late Lunrung Tamuk who was jailed for almost half of his life and left half dead by the Britishers at Lakhimpur Central jail, Assam, for killing Williamson with late Matmur Jamoh.

Takeng Tamuk, who has written a book on the history of his late great grandfather and others said that, late Lunrung Tamuk was a born orator, patriot and a legendary figure in the Siang valley who played a pivotal role in the assassination of Noel Williamson and his party at Komsing and Dr. G. D. Gregorson and his party at Pangi on 31st March 1911 and 30th March 1911 respectively.

“He was the Headman of his village and had an adamant attitude towards the British advancement into the interior land of the Abor. So he was determined to stop the further advancement of the British into the interior Adi lands as he disliked the behavior of the superiority attitudes shown to his folks and their interference in the affairs of the Abor on their own land. This feeling of patriotism and humanism resulted in the assassination and massacre of Williamson and his party”, writes Tamuk in his book describing the historical places of wars like Kekar Monying.

While at Yapgo village near Dambuk under Lower Dibang Valley District, the war memorial of late Muttum Darin, named ‘Muttum Lireng’ stands tall at Bongal Yapgo just besides the National Highway-52 which is being erected by Kibo Erang Kebang (KEK) and going to be opened for all shortly.

Speaking about the martyrdom of late Muttum Darin, KEK President Bising Darin said that, they heartily welcome the move of ABKWW to demand the construction of a common war memorial for all the freedom fighters of Adi belts.

Dwelling at length about the life and sacrifice of martyr late Muttum Darin in the Bongal Yapgo war with Britishers, Tobuk Dai said that the introduction of the life history of war heroes in the textbook of students in the Adi belt would be the best way to keep the history of our freedom fighters alive for the future generation.

Muttum Darín took part and was martyred in the Anglo-Abor War of 1893-94, popularly known as Bongal Mimak at Bongal Yapgo, under Dambuk Circle.

The date and year in which he actually took part in the said war is not vividly known, but it is in the memory of many elderly people who retains the oral history of the past and according to them, Muttum Darín had died during March 1894 in the war while resisting the entry of armed British troupe, who were on Abor Hill Expedition at Bongal Yapgo, presently located at Yapgo Village under Dambuk Circle.

Meanwhile, seeing the dilapidated condition of some of the war memorials and dispersedly located several war memorials, ABK Women Wing President, Olen Megu Damin said that these memories of our war heroes needed to be taken care of by the state government by taking up the construction of a common war memorial with a museum at the earliest.

“And also, stepping in of government for construction of a common war memorial of our war heroes would lessen the burden and rush of our people who are constructing war memorials for their respective clan linked forefathers who laid their lives for the freedom and protection of the Adis from British control through Abor expedition”, added Damin.

The ABKWW has been batting for the construction of a common war memorial for all the war heroes of the Adi belt while urging the state education department to include the history of war heroes of Adis in the textbook of schools up to Middle school level besides also appealing to the state government for the recognition of all the war heroes of the Adis and Arunachal Pradesh recognized by the central government.

ABKWW also desires that this concern of war heroes be taken up by the state government in the ongoing budget session for early consideration.

There are many unsung heroes of Anglo-Abor wars who had strongly participated in the freedom movement fighting fiercely with their traditional weapons like bows & arrows, spears, and swords.

“Despite substantial documentary evidence, our great forefathers who sacrificed their lives for independence have not been recognized officially as freedom fighters till date. Tayeng Welfare Society had also submitted a petition to the state government for recognition of Late Borkeng Tayeng and Late Kebo Tayeng around some 10 years ago whose memorial, ‘Abor Liireng’ is located at Ayeng village, but no positive response came from the state government yet”, said Mida Tayeng, great-grandson of freedom fighters late Borkeng and Kebo Tayeng.

Inputs by Maksam Tayeng

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