Will Soso Lorho becomes the ultimate Nagas’ mandate candidate or sacrificial lamb in Manipur MP election?

Soso Lorho is supposed or should be the ultimate and the only mandate MP candidate for the Nagas in Manipur according to so called the Naga leaders in Manipur. And all the other candidates like:

1. Mani Charenamei
2. Prof. Gangmumei

NPF Flag

NPF Flag

3. Sword Vashum

are supposed to be the anti-Naga candidates or Nagas non-mandate candidates per the last election’s trends.

But interestingly two Naga non-mandate candidates (according to the Naga leaders) like Francis (Senapati District) and Gaikhangam (Tamenglong District) have become the Cabinet Minister in Manipur, while all the so called the pro-Naga candidates have become sitting or sleeping MLA in Manipur enjoying now only as the Chief Guest almost in every function or festival.

And more interestingly, some of the candidates were discouraged to contest in the election and ultimately they were lost in the election. Will the Naga leaders discourage this time the other candidates like in last Assembly and MP election? If the answer is ‘Yes’ then the other candidates will be considered as Nagas non-mandate candidates or anti-Naga candidates. If the answer is ‘No’ then the Naga politics is becoming more and more complicated as the rules and the laws (resolutions) keep changing and applies in different places (constituencies).

Indian Election in Naga inhabited areas have severely infected so many Naga leaders and common people due to some simple reasons, which every one knows. And now the Naga Politics has become so complicated and it is becoming quite difficult to understand the Naga politics.

Politics itself is not a dirty thing. But politics become dirty when we make dirty the politics. You may no like it this but Naga politics has become much more complicated after the Naga leaders have accepted the Indian Election and its electoral systems in Naga inhabited areas. The bitter truth!

‪#‎If‬ the Naga leaders continue to actively involve in Indian election and its politics, instead of bringing Nagas as one community, it may bring more hatred, jealousy, misunderstanding, grudges among the Naga people based on political parties and Naga UG factions.

‪#‎However‬, it may be good to know more and debates if there is any positive effects of Naga leaders strongly involving in Indian Election in Naga inhabited areas after 2000 AD. Nagas boycotted the Indian election in 1952 and the problem continued in Naga inhabited areas till the Nagaland State was formed in 1963.

@Dr. Thohe Pou

NSCN-IM cadre beaten to death a Poumai Naga boy

The NSCN-IM cadre beaten to death a young Poumai Naga boy from Senapati in Manipur for forcefully taking a pair of chappals after arguing with the shopkeeper. The angry mob burnt the commodities of the shopkeeper who has reported to the NSCN.  In a brutal manner, the NSCN-IM cadres have beaten up to death a boy name Late Shepao belonging to Poumai tribe.

The angry mob burnt the commodities of the shopkeeper

The angry mob burnt the commodities of the shopkeeper

The NSCN-IM have terminated the cadres in response to the demand made by the public. It is reported that the angry mob in Senapati, Manipur have entered the NSCN-IM office’s at Senapati. But, all the NSCN-IM deserted the office for fear of life, but their stuffs are kept there are taken u

The angry burnt the furniture and others stuffs in the NSCN office's in Senapati Pic: Cornelius Lanah

The angry burnt the furniture and others stuffs in the NSCN office’s in Senapati Pic: Cornelius Lanah

p to be burnt at Senapati local ground in public views. 

It may be recalled that in December 21 incident triggered a mass resentment among the Sumi community, and the Sumi in Nagaland overpowered the NSCN-IM camp at Zhunheboto and flushed out all the NSCN-IM from Zhunheboto Distrtict, Nagaland.

Impact of 15th Lok Sabha Election in Senapati District, Manipur

– Dr. R.B. Thohe Pou
Some people believe that politics is a ‘dirty game’ but they continue to involve in politics. Some people believe that developments can be brought through politicians only forgetting the work of the NGOs. Personally I believe that politics is not a ‘dirty game’ but many politicians and the people involved in politics play the dirty game. How many politicians and the people who involves in politics are honest, respectable and work for unity and development of the people?

Map showing Karong-Senapati areas

Map showing Karong-Senapati areas

In 1952 under the leadership of Phizo ‘ the Naga (NNC) boycotted the Indian election, which was quite successfully. The general election in 1952 was totally boycotted in Naga areas; not a single nomination was filled in the Naga areas; not a single vote was cast. The Nagas also stayed away from the District Councils. The school teachers and other govt. employers resigned their jobs and the people refused to pay taxes. Let’s also try to examine the cooperation, unity and capability to convince and mobilize of the present Naga leaders who boycotted the Indian election and commenced to involve in so called Indian election.

In last 13th Lok Sabha election ‘ the NSCN-IM again boycotted Indian election in Nagalim as they don’t want to come under the constitution of India. In this election ‘ the Outer Manipur seat was won by Kim Gangte (a non Naga candidate) as the Naga people boycotted the Lok Sabha election and other communities selected her unanimously.

The strategy and the policy of the Naga underground changed in 14th Lok Sabha election; the Naga underground wanted to have their own candidate who will represent in Indian parliament for the Naga people in Delhi. In this election ‘ Mani Cheranamei (an Independent MP candidate) was chosen by the NSCN-IM faction for the Naga people and he was elected in last election. However many villagers and leaders said that NSCN-IM compelled them to vote for Mani only. When we studied the Naga political history it is observed that the Naga underground did not want the Naga people to involve so called in Indian election and boycotted twice. However the Indian politicians (leaders) want the Naga to be the part of the India and participate in every Indian election. Now the policy of the underground is just reversed and the thinkers and the people who are interested on Naga issue may be abstruse to comprehend this reversal policy.

In this 15th Lok Sabha election ‘ the Naga underground wants MP Mani Cheranamei to represent again for the Naga people in Delhi. However they did not stopped any other Naga candidate to nominate and it is strange that after nomination ‘ the people were not allowed to cast their votes for other candidates except for Mani. Why don’t they make understand and stop the aspiring MP candidates before their nomination is done? There were some round of talks between the village leaders and other leaders with the NSCN-IM leaders in Senapati and its periphery areas. However the NSCN-IM could not convinced and mobilized the public leaders and ultimately the voting day arrived. In Poumai Naga areas ‘ the NSCN-IM once again commenced to threaten the village leaders to vote for Mani Cheranamei only. On the day of election ‘ most of the underground went to their own villages and started to woo the villagers to vote for their candidate but the villagers were not convinced without any muscle power.

Many villagers were forcefully voted for Mani and this news spread like the wild fire in all the villages and in the periphery of Senapati areas as they have now better communication due to cell phone revolution. Learning the news about the booth capturing by the underground ‘ the public or mass of the people got irritated and started to gather around Karong and Senapati areas and the annoyed mass of the people commenced to pelt stones to the vehicles coming from Mao and Poumai areas polling stations. Unfortunately, one of the NSCN-IM Kilonser’s Bolero (vehicle) was coming from Poumai area side and the aggravated mass of the people stoned the vehicle and almost crushed into piece but the NSCN-IM Kilonser and the others travelling in that Bolero were safe with some injuries in their bodies. On 22nd April, the alleged two leaders of the people who were involved in pelting stone to NSCNN-IM Kilonser’s Bolero were taken into Hebron, Dimapur ‘ the NSCN-IM head quarter for further interrogation. There was meeting between the Naga leaders from Senapati District and the NSCN-IM leaders in Hebron camp on 23rd April till late evening. On 24th April the two alleged were bailed out by the Naga leaders from Senapati. Kudos goes to the NSCN-IM for releasing the two alleged leaders who were alleged to lead the group in stoning the Bolero.

It is also difficult to understand why the underground could not convince and mobilize the gullible villagers to vote for their candidate? Why they made the public irritated and brought such kind of consequences? It is also interesting to note that there was not news report in Manipur or Nagaland news paper about the pelting of stone and injury of the NSCN-IM Kilonser near Senapati H. Quarter. But one of the simple reasons may be that there is not a single local news reporter available in Senapati and the freelancers may be afraid or unworthy to get the price of reporting for such kind of report as it may bring heavy price on them for reporting such kind of ground reality and fact report to the newspaper.

With this kind of consequences through election problems in Nagalim may bring more bitter relationship between the public and the Naga underground. Not only the relationship between the underground and the public but the relationship among the people also will be affected enormously. The Naga leaders and everyone from Senapati would definitely appreciate the NSCN-IM for solving the problems amicably with prayers and mutual understanding. Disunity and bitter relationship may be the sadness to one community but it may be happiness to other communities and the leaders of every community may need to understand and bring good relationship and unity amongst their community.

By Thohe Pou – April 25, 2009


The Naga Warrior: A daughter travels to Nagaland to retrace journey of her mother

Her daughter travels to Nagaland to retrace the fascinating journey of Ursula Graham Bower, the British woman who made her home in these hills in the 1940s, learning the ways of the Nagas, and leading them against the Japanese during WWII

It was an arduous journey for 62-year-old Catriona Child. A flight to Guwahati from New Delhi, a train to Dimapur, a night halt and then a 15-hour drive across the sparsely inhabited Peren district of Nagaland. But as she rode through yellowing fields of tall reed encircled by bluish mountains; as she hurtled and slipped while climbing slushy mountain slopes on foot, and hitched rides on dilapidated World War II trucks and newer gypsys, on her way to the remote village of Magulong on the Manipur-Nagaland border, she was also coming home.

Ursula Graham Bower's daughter

Ursula Graham Bower, a British woman, had made her home in these hills in the 1940s. (IE Photo)

At the entrance to the village, children stood in a line, welcoming them with a song sung to the tune of God Save the Queen. “They had been waiting for us for several hours,” says Child, who was accompanied on her journey by a group of friends and cousins. As was their tradition, the villagers offered to carry their guests in but when they protested, they tied a rope to the front bender of the gypsy and pulled it all the way to the church at the centre of the village.

With that, Child had travelled through an arc of time — Magulong was where her parents Ursula Graham Bower and Colonel Frederick Nicholson Betts were married by Naga rites over 60 years ago. Her mother, the amateur anthropologist who lived for several years with the Nagas, whose life and customs she was documenting in the 1940s. Her mother, whose image was splashed on the cover of Time magazine in 1945, celebrated as the woman who led a squad of Naga warriors against the Japanese during World War II.

Graham Bower, who was described by her mother to the Time magazine, as one who “never would sit still”, arrived in Assam in 1936, a disappointed woman. Having fought all her life to be sent to the best private schools in England, the 22-year-old had been denied a chance to study at Oxford because of a financial crunch at home. “She felt that her life was over. Till a friend, Alexa Macdonald, whose brother was an Imperial Civil Service officer recently posted in Manipur, invited her to join them. My grandmother, who never understood my mother’s ambitions, felt it was a good thing and that she would find a husband here. Instead my mother found the Nagas,” says Child.

In the beginning, Graham Bower, a plump, academic woman, did what other white women of the Raj did — shop at a bazaar in Imphal or watch a polo match on a sunny afternoon. Then, on a trip to Kohima, she spotted the muscular Nagas for the first time, in their traditional kilts and ornaments. Graham Bower would tell Child much later that she felt a strong connection with these mysterious people, a sense that her destiny was tied with them. She began visiting Naga areas and photographing them. When she went back to London and showed her anthropologist friends the photographs, they encouraged her to return to finish the work she had started.

Between 1939 and 1946, Graham Bower travelled to remote villages, helping the people with medicines and rudimentary medical care, as well as photographing them and documenting their traditions. She spent many years among the Zemi Nagas, the object of her study, in Laisong village in north Cachar, Assam.

In 1942, thick in the middle of World War II, her presence and familiarity with the villagers was a strategic advantage for the British, who did not have many friends among the local, often hostile, tribes. “Maybe, because she was a woman and not an official, people began to accept her,” says Child. Graham Bower’s medical kit had become popular among residents. There were few antibiotics available, so the medicines she carried would be the only care they had for sores, fevers and infections. Over time, she developed an unshakeable bond.

When the Japanese army invaded Burma in 1942 and threatened to push forward to India, she was recruited by the British to scour the jungles for the enemy. Bower mobilised the Nagas against the Japanese, placing herself at the head of a formidable band of 150 warriors, armed with ancient muzzle-loading guns. She herself would carry two sten guns. They came to be known as the Bower Force, for rescuing wounded Allied pilots and ambushing enemy missions.

It was in the hills that she met Lt Col Frederick Nicholson Betts, a fellow adventurer, who she married in 1945. The newly-married couple set off toward Magulong a year later to meet the tribes in “Manipur State, outside British India and 30 miles off across forbidding hills”. First down into Jiri valley, over a steep hill, climbing over Maovam in lashing stinging rain and running down hills to finally reach a camp where the headman of Magulong, Khutuing, was waiting for them. He was carrying a ge-ze — a human hair-tufted shield and two long strands of human hair in his two ear lobes — a sign that he had taken the head of a Kuki. It was from Khutuing that Graham Bower learnt the headhunter’s war cry. “My mother really loved them, as Magulong was a warlike village, very much like Khonoma, where the Angami (tribe) lived,” Child says.

In her 1952 book, Naga Path, an account of her life in the hills, Graham Bower writes of her second wedding in this village. “Tim and I had been married, the village knew, by the sahib’s laws and rites. But there ought to be more. It was right that I, who was a Zemi, should also be married by tribal rites as well — the only rites that the Zemi recognised. Magulong, therefore, proposed to see it done.” Not only had the Zemi accepted Graham Bower as one of their own, but she had also started dreaming in their language, believing herself to be one of them, says Child.

For the ceremony, Khutuing adopted Graham Bower as his daughter and another family of warriors adopted Betts. There was singing and dancing and drinking till the early hours of the morning. A villager stumbled upon a bear in the middle of a field and speared it. He said he had killed it on behalf of Betts, in honour of his bride Asaipui, or the queen, as she was known by the Zemi.

Child is here to visit the two families who adopted her parents. Over a meal of meat, boiled greens and rice beer, she tells Gobi and Rimzam Disuang, 88 and 85 years respectively, the descendants of Khutuing, “I only have a sister, no brothers. You are my Naga brothers.”

Rimzam was six when Graham Bower first came to Magulong village, now in Manipur’s Tamenglong district. “We had never seen a white person before and were frightened. She had different skin, hair, eyes, ears. She was so big! One of her thighs was the same size as a child. We all ran away. Then she took her gramophone to a small knoll in the middle of the village. There she started playing music. We went up to the knoll and looked around for the person singing the song. But there was no singer. Only a box from which these songs emanated in a strange language. One of the gaon budas (village elders) warned us. He told us not to listen to these songs as they would attract us and convert us to a strange religion,” recalls Rimzam.

Child first came to India in 1986, intrigued by her mother’s stories, and tried to visit north Cachar. “But there were many restrictions then and I was turned away. I never told my mother I was attempting the trip. When she later found out, she was furious, first of all because it was a dangerous journey to make at the time and also because she was jealous that she couldn’t be with me,” says Child. It was only much later in 1996, after a decade of building contacts, that she met the Nagas from Magulong in Shillong. Source: Indian Express

Crossing the bridge for an Alternative Arrangement : An opinion

The cry for an Alternative Arrangement outside the jurisdiction and legitimacy of the government of Manipur (GoM) by the Nagas in the present state of Manipur was not a hasty decision. The circumstances and conditions that led to this decision goes much deeper, and beyond the various perspectives, interpretation and speculations being made by State actors, Non-state actors and civil society.

Aware of the exhausted and limited strategies used in the past to achieve Naga peoples’ struggle for rights to life and property, identity, land, resources, traditional institutions and customary practices, the concept of “Alternative Arrangement” (AA) represents a resolute and confident strategy derived from within the collective thinking of the people. The AA stands for a peaceful and democratic process that goes beyond the notion of Manipur state territorial integrity.

Naga students, youths, women, men and traditional bodies in Manipur under UNC (United Naga Council) formed the NPC (Naga Peoples Convention) the highest decision making body. The NPC deliberation in 2010 resolved to severe all political ties with the GoM. It demanded the intervention of the Government of India (GoI) to form an Alternative Arrangement outside the present state of Manipur, is well within the legal provisions of the GoI.

The GoI responded with the suggestion for a tripartite dialogue between UNC, GoM and GoI at a ministerial level. However, the series of tripartite talks which began in 2010 have been at a bureaucratic level only; where the representative of the GoM repeatedly informs at the end of every meeting that: “….We have not come to any conclusion or agreement….we will discuss and deliberate again…”. While the GoI has acknowledged the AA issue as genuine, its unwillingness to engage in a dialogue based on mutually agreed terms implies that the tripartite dialogue is a premeditated strategy to delay the process and weaken the Naga people’s resolve by testing their patience.

The purpose and the method in which the tripartite dialogue is being carried on needs to be taken very seriously, lest, the Alternative Arrangement concept as well as its possibilities are pushed into oblivion.

Sustaining a peoples’ movement in a sophisticated bureaucratic ruled democracy like India, is a great challenge. In this form of bureaucratic ruled democracy, people’s movement are often caught within the cauldron of electoral political divide, thereby complicating their strategy in an already murky state of affairs. The controversial “elected unopposed” ADC members (Autonomous District Councillor) and inability to break through the impasse has furthered this uncertainty in Manipur.

The monotonous reaching-out programme by the AA and UNC to all Naga districts in Manipur has not been able to create a sustainable and decisive impact required to make the GoM respond to the people’s demand. The challenge of the UNC will be to sustain the movement for Alternative Arrangement while keeping in mind the impoverished economic conditions of the Naga people.

Time is therefore of the essence, and it will be worthwhile for the UNC to maintain a stipulated time frame in order to achieve their desired objective. Whereas, on the other hand, it will be strategy of the GoM to delay this process as long as possible, knowing full well the economic conditions of the Nagas.

The recent seminar organised by United Club of Manipur (UCM) on the theme “India’s Stand on the Territorial Integrity of Manipur” and the recommendation for mass movement and the subsequent decision of the Manipur Cabinet to protect the territory of Manipur state from the so called border dispute with Burma needs to be viewed cautiously. The timing and intention of the UCM recommendation and the Cabinet on the usage of “territorial integrity of the state” has deep rooted politics.

The outcome of the 6th round of AA talk at Ashoka Hotel Delhi as per sources is interesting, because the spirit of tripartite talks seem to remain overtly positive to all parties. Such formal pretentiousness is not helping in addressing the core primary issues. Rather this has reduced the process from actual dialogue at the ministerial level to negotiating around secondary issues. The politics behind this recent tripartite talk indicates that the GoI & GoM used it as a platform to convince UNC to lift its ban on the national project notably the construction of the power grid and Trans-Asian railway.

In the backdrop of the 6th round of talks, the hurriedly called meeting of the UNC presidential council and frontal organisations within 3 days of the talks which decided on lifting the ban on construction of national project was hasty and a breach of people’s trust and confidence. It was bad politics and not a well calculated decision. It has given advantage to the GoI and GoM. The UNC will have to rethink its strategy and return to the primary objective of the AA.

The GoM is also using development as a weapon to manufacture divisions with the UNC constituencies by initiating sectarian development. As part of Look East policy, upgrading Imphal Airport to an International Airport, massive tunnels cut through mountains belonging to the land of Zeliangrong Nagas (Tamenglong) for Railway to reach Imphal does not necessarily benefit the Naga People. However, GoM representative propounded these activities as development during the talk.

If the primary purpose for an Alternative Arrangement is to be achieved then the direction and leadership provided by the UNC must be united in purpose and people-centred. Therefore, consulting the people, seeking their opinion, disseminating information and keeping them updated of the process and sharing the purpose and objective of the AA and its campaign should be the focus of UNC.

There must be space for active participation of the youth and women. Simultaneously, UNC should continue to engage in dialogue with other communities and stake holders both within and without.

The direction of AA cannot be influenced by the interest of vested politician and other interest groups in the name of empowerment, upliftment and development, as this will have far reaching ramifications in the Naga people right over their political, social, economic and cultural future, including their ownership over land and resources. It is important that the future course of the Alternative Arrangement is decided by the people. The UNC needs to seriously and resourcefully motivate the people. In this regard, from past experienced counter-active methods such as bandhs and blockades should be discontinued, since it only creates bad publicity. More importantly, these methods instead of weakening the GoM has only strengthen them and it has compelled the dominant community in Imphal valley to become united. The UNC initiative should garner more support, rather than isolating themselves from the people and as well as other communities.

The UNC has clearly stated its understanding the mindset of the Meitei’s in its “Position Paper and Declaration for an Alternative Arrangement,” which says “The perception of the dominant community is the perception of the Manipur state government…To the Meitei’s, Manipur means Imphal and the people of Manipur means Meitei’s alone, and the tribals living in the hills and the 90% of the state’s areas belonging to the tribals are mere appendage.” Name any infrastructure, everything is completely centralised to Imphal alone hospitals, national and state institution, research centre, sports, culture centre, Manipur University, Central Agriculture University, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehu Institute of Medical Sciences, National institute of Technology (NIT) Manipur Institute of Technology (MIT), Multi stadia Complex, Rice Research Centre, State Pesticide Testing laboratory, Soil Testing Centre, Software Technological Park, State Mechanise Farm, Seed Testing laboratory, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute, Sports Authority of India, Bio-diversity Conservation and Sustainable Development. Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Veterinary Institute, Nursing, ITI, Polytechnic, Jawaharla Nehru Institute of Medical Science, State Institute of Rural Development, Tribal Research Centre, one can go on naming are cramped in Imphal and what is left in the hill areas just a name tag District HQ.

Therefore, it is paramount to understand the dynamics in achieving Alternative Arrangement. The challenge is not just trying to win over the GoI and GoM, but it also means convincing the other people to be convinced of the inevitable reality that Nagas must decide their own future.

This means the UNC must strengthen its relationship with the people and educate them and consult with them. The UNC will become a weak and powerless institution without the support of the people. The strength of UNC can only become stronger when the heart and mind of the people are with them. An inclusive and united approach is indispensable for AA.

Therefore, instead of maintaining status quo and following the same conventional operational strategy, a logical paradigm shift should be approached with series of envisioning process, such as discussion forum in different level of the society beyond the existing organisational level.

The Church also needs to be encouraged to get involved and should be utilized in dissemination of information. Creative symbolic gesture must be developed to keep people’s spirit active and creating open spaces for people to voice out their opinions should be encouraged. In this way, it will reduce the obscure views and propaganda which is promoted by vested people.

Providing platforms for school and college students through debates, symposiums and essay writing; and encouraging Naga artistes to write and compose music are some of the ways that the campaign can be strengthened. Naga journalist forum must be encouraged and strengthened since media is the weakest sectors for the Nagas at present. Engaging the Naga academician and scholars to facilitate and provide inputs, suggestions, criticism and analysis is a necessity at this juncture. Nagas from the present state of Manipur who are residing in the mainland India as students, research scholars, academicians, activist, and employees in govt. or private sectors can become an asset in reaching out and educating the people in India.

The Alternative Arrangement is a litmus test for the Nagas in Manipur, since it is only a strategy to ensure all Nagas come and live as one people in freedom and dignity.

It is only a temporary necessity. Shift from exclusive monotonous point of view to broadening the horizons of collective view needs to be approached for more pragmatic process. In the given situation the best way to realize as a dignified people is through an Alternative Arrangement outside the state of Manipur, come what may. May be then together we will continue to march singing …we shall overcome!

WG Vashum

Remembering Martyr’s day – 27th August 1948

In September 1946, the Naga National League (NNL) was organized to consolidate the Nagas of Manipur in order to bring together the Naga people separated by colonial boundaries.

The Nagas of Manipur were independent of the Manipur Raja before the advent of the British. Even after the British came, they were administered by the political department of the British Crown. The Manipur Raja and his darbar administered only the valley area till 15th August 1947.
After 15th August 1947, when the paramountcy was transferred to the Maharaja of Manipur without the consent of the hill people, the NNL stated the Nagas of Manipur will not remain with the Meiteis since the latter had never conquered the Nagas and declared that it would be impossible for the Nagas to preserve the best of their culture, tradition, customary laws and political practices should the Naga people and their land be split up and placed under different influence and politics.

The NNL expressed their strong desire to merge with the Naga Hills District of Assam through the BOYCOTT of the preparation of electoral rolls in Naga areas. The first General Election under the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 was held in June 1948. The Nagas in Manipur boycotted the election.

They thereafter launched the “NO TAX CAMPAIGN” when Maharaj Kumar Priyobrata Singh was the Chief Minister of Manipur. The Campaign was spearheaded by Mr. A. Daiho(Mao) and Mr. N. Modoli(Poumai), President and Secretary respectively of the NNL. The Nagas in Manipur refused to pay the annual House Tax to the Government of Manipur and instead submitted their annual house tax to Charles Pawsey, D.C. of Naga hills of Assam at Kohima.

It was an act of defiance against the Authority of the State, under which the Nagas of Manipur had been placed without their consent. It was also a means of putting pressure on the Indian Government for securing the merger of the Nagas in Manipur with the Naga hills District.
27th August 1948 “ MARTYRS’ DAY” :

The Manipur Maharaja, Budh Chandra sent a combined force of Assam Rifles and Manipur Police to arrest Mr. A.Daiho and other leaders. Equipped with machine guns the Assam Rifles took position in and around Mao Inspection Bungalow in war like fashion and indiscriminately fired at the volunteers/ students of the Mao-Maram Tribal Council (now Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal and Upper Zeliang) who were blocking the road leading to the residence of Mr. A. Daiho.
In the firing, the followings were killed/grievously wounded :

Name Village Status
1. Mr. Asiisii Hepuni Punanamei Volunteer(killed on the spot)
2. Mr. Mahriili Lohrii Kalinamei Student (killed on the spot)
3. Mr. Modo Kholi Kalinamei Student (killed on the spot)
4. Mr. Daikho Hesho Chowainamei Khullen Volunteer (succumbed to injuries)
5. Mr. Obow Adani Punanamei Volunteer (succumbed to injuries)
6. Mr. Kaisii Mathibo Punanamei Volunteer(Expired-12thAug, 2013)
7. Mr. Obow Ashiho Punanamei Student(Still alive)

Many other male and female volunteers and students received injuries from bullets, rifle butts, lathis, and boots of the Assam Rifles and Manipur Police on that day.

The indiscriminate firings and use of violent force finally succeeded in dispersing the demonstrators and the two leaders viz. Mr. A. Daiho of Song Song village and Mr. N. Modoli of Tunggam village along with Mr Kaikho Dili of Tadubi and Mr Athikho Sibo of Song Song were finally arrested. The arrested leaders, all the dead bodies and injured persons were herded away to Imphal in the Assam Rifles convoy. After being kept at Imphal Central Jail, Mr A. Daiho and Mr. N. Modoli were shifted to Dum Dum(now Kolkata) Central Jail as political prisoners.
In memory and honour of those who suffered and made the ultimate sacrifice for the integration of all Nagas, sixty-six years ago, the Mao Students’ Union has perpetuated this day in memory by observing it as “The Martyrs’ Day”. As the event is a landmark in the history of political movement of the Nagas in Manipur, the observation is being organized this year by the Mao Council under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC).