PASIGHAT ( By Maksam Tayeng ) – While continuing with the previous first leg of visit to war memorials of Anglo Abor war (four Anglo-Abor Wars namely, Bitbor Mimak, Bongal Mimak, Mijom Mimak and Poju Mimak) in the Adi belt under East Siang, Siang, Upper Siang and Lower Dibang Valley districts of Arunachal Pradesh of British era, 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 recently with the family members respective 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 at Komsing village, unfolded more about the timely and genuinely needed of 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 though 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 of ABKWW President and this scribe at Komsing village travelling across all the villages under Nugong Banggo. Takeng Tamuk, who still preserves the sword, headgear, spear and others of his late great grandfather late Lunrung Tamuk, said that, he and his family members heartily welcomes the move of Adi Baane Kebang Women Wing for construction of a common war memorial associated with a museum besides demand for recognition of war heroes by introducing the history of freedom fighters of Adi community in the history text book of schools in the Adi inhabited areas.
Takeng Tamuk, who is a teacher (TGT) in Govt. Model Residential Sec. School Gandhi, Pasighat, East Siang District, 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 British APO, Williamson with late Matmur Jamoh. TakengTamuk, 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/Gam 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 by touching villages like Rengging, Rottung, Sisen, Kebang, Pangi and Komsing where Britishers offended against the Adi villages by burning the entire villages etc.
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, Tobuk Dai and Muttum Liireng Committee Chairman, Oyang Darin with statue committee technical expert, Bising Darin said that, they heartily welcomes the move of ABKWW to demand for 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 life history of war heroes in the textbook of students in Adi belt would be a 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. It was not only him but many other warriors took part, sacrificed their lives and some even survived. All those heroes deserve due recognition for their sacrifice from Adis in particular and the Government of Arunachal Pradesh in general. In fact, they were the real patriots in true sense which deserve a place in Arunachal history as freedom fighters, added KEK President, Tobuk Dai.
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.
ABKWW have been strongly batting for construction of a common war memorial for all the war heroes of Adi belt while suggesting the state education department to include the history of war heroes of Adis in the textbook of schools upto 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 etc against the Britishers well equipped with artilerry weapons. “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.
Hence, it is the time for the state government to get all these war heroes of the state recognized by the central and state government while also setting up a common War Memorial attached with a museum displaying the records and history of the Adi warriors/martyrs which in turn could also become a tourist and researchers’ attraction.