Khongjom Battle fought on April 25 not on April 23: RK Jhaljit

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People observing the Khongjom Battle at Tengol Lampak, Kakching.
People observing the Khongjom Battle at Tengol Lampak, Kakching.

IMPHAL, April 25: Contending that the government has misled the people of the State by wrongly assuming that the Khongjom Battle took place on April 23, 1891 which is not true as the historic war was fought on April 25; renowned historian RK Jhaljit further claimed that the battle fought between the Manipuri warriors and the mighty British took place at Tengol Lampak near Khongjom River not at Kheba Chingkhong.

He was speaking as a resource person during the observance function of 124th Khongjom Lan Ningsing Numit observed by Major Chongtha Miya Memorial Committee, Manipur in collaboration with Khongjom Battle Memorial Celebration Committee, Manipur at Tengol Lampak, Kakching in Thoubal district today.

The fact that the Khongjom Battle took place on April 25 at Tengol Lampak is clearly written in the British record. As there had not been any error in the British record till date, there is nothing to argue about the date and place of the Khongjom Battle, he said.

Quoting the British record, the historian pointed out that Paona Brajabasi died on April 23 but not at battle field.

Paona Brajabasi and Major Chongtha Miya had sent a request to Konung to provide weapons to them to face the mighty British forces. As the request was turned down, furious Paona Brajabasi holding a sword stormed the Lanjaba Camp of British at Kheba Chingthak but died in his fierce attempt.

On April 25 early morning, the British forces using bomb and artillery attacked the Meitei battle camp at Tengol Lampak. A fierce war took place between the Meitei forces under the command of Major Chongtha Miya and British forces at the area. There had not been any battle fought on April 24, he narrated.

Saying that April 23 could be observed as the death anniversary of Paona Brajabasi but not as Khongjom Day, RK Jhaljit emphasized the need for forming an expert committee to ascertain the facts of Khongjom Battle so that coming generation could know about it precisely.

He went on to say that the then Chief Minister MK Priyobarta had erected a memorial stone and offered tarpan on April 25 at Tengol Lampak in remembrance of the deceased unidentified Meitei soldiers who died fighting against the British forces.

Regretting that the Khongjom Day has been observed by the state government by investing huge amount of money that also in the wrong place and date, he said that it will be a wise step on part of the government if the money invested for observing the Khongjom Day is used for the welfare of the people.

Consultant to Government of Manipur, Dr RK Nimai who was present at the occasion as chief guest admitted that the then CM Priyobarta had erected the memorial stone at Tengol Lampak based on the genuine British record.

He exuded confidence that the government will look into the conflicting facts on the observation of Khongjom Day.

Offering of floral tributes to the statue of Major Chongtha Miya and rendition of Khongjom Parva by Subadani and her team were the main highlights of the observance function which was also attended by former Chairperson of Manipur Woman Commission, Dr Ch Jamini.

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