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135th Martyr Day of Sambhudhan Phonglo observed

Special Correspondent

Silchar, Feb 12: Various Dimasa organizations today in a collective manner observed the 135th Martyr Day of Sambhudhan Phonglo in a most befitting way with larger participation from the community. After paying glowing tributes to the great freedom fighter and martyr, a rally was brought out from the venue of celebration, ‘Dimasa Chatrabas’ located at Settlement Road of this town. The colourful rally maintaining all serenity and solemnity moved round the town and thereafter converged at the starting point. A discussion was held on the various aspects of the life and achievements, sacrifice and the valiant role of Sambhudhan Phonglo against the colonial British rulers who had annexed the Dimasa territory in 1832.

 Those who participated in the enlightening discussion included among others Amal Kanti Barman, president, Dimasa Sahitya Sabha, Shonit Kumar Barman, secretary, Dimasa Historical Heritage Foundation, Suresh Chandra Barman, president, Dimasa Sanskriti Parishad, Roma Ranjan Barman, president, Dimasa Royal Capital Protection Committee, and Sadhan Barman, secretary, Cachar Phonglo Hosom. It was a discussion that touched upon the various phases in the freedom struggle in this north east region. Sambhudhan Phonglo is regarded as one of the pioneer freedom fighters in north east to challenge the mighty power of the British.

 The annexation of Cachar by the British was seen as an act of treachery since they adopted their well known policy of ‘divide and rule’ by vivisecting the Dimasa territory. Sambhudhan Phonglo was not happy with this treacherous policy of the British. This agitated the mind of Phonglo who decided to revolt. He resolved to prepare for a tough battle. He toured extensively in the North Cachar Hills for mass contact and organization. He succeeded in inspiring the villagers to raise their voice against the British.

 Sambhudhan was able to recruit a large number of youths to form revolutiory force. He selected two followers whom he trusted a lot mely, Man Singh and Molongthong. He appointed Man Singh as principal adviser and Molongthong as subordite commander under him. When he found that he had succeeded in enrolling sufficient number of youths, he decided to impart them training in Maibang for arms training. The increasing activities of Sambhudhan caused a great concern for the British Government which decided to act firmly against him.

 The Sub-Divisiol Officer of Gunjum issued summons to Sambhudhan and his subordites Man Singh and Molongthong, but they did not care to appear before the British officials. A warrant of arrest was issued against them. The British troop which was sent to arrest Sambhudhan, it was upset by the overwhelming strength of the rebel. Not to be let down, he organized his own army, being an expert in guerrilla warfare. In the encounters, British army could understand the growing strength and force of Sambhudhan.

 But, ultimately the British could overpower him by yet another act of treachery. He was hunted down by the British in the deep jungle of North Cachar Hills and died thereafter as a result of deep wounds. Even today, people in villages hear about the valour and courage of Sambhudhan Phonglo who has become a symbol of pride, patriotism and unity. At the function, it was decided to appeal to the state government to declare February 12, the birthday of Sambhudhan Phonglo as ‘Sahid Divas’.

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Ankur Kalita