King of Kuki (KUKI RAJA

This blog is dedicated to (L)Pu Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chengjapao Doungel, son of Nguljam Doungel was born in the year 1868 in a remote village of Aisan located in Sadar Hills in Manipur. They had come and settled down in this area about half a century ago before his birth under the leadership of Helkhup Doungel who was then Chief of Aisan. They came from Nanglembung village in "Aai-Saan" hills (where rituals are performed) in Chin Hills coming along the Imphal River and reaching Imphal valley with Meitei guides. "Aisan" is a shortened form. They were allotted Chingmeirong area for their settlement but they could not adapt to living in swampy and mosquito infected area. They chose to settle at Makeng Lokchao area 20 kms north of Saikul while a small branch settled in Kangchup area (Makhom and Kotjim). Kukis maintained very good relationship with Meitei kings and were very close ally. Old people still recall that Gambhir Singh personally surveyed the area with Helkhup going on elephant back. He was respected by the neighbouring Chiefs. He also maintained good relationship with the then Meitei kings i.e. Gambhir Singh and Chandrakirti Singh. Helkhup was a great Chief and died at a ripe age. He was greatly mourned by all who knew him and his funeral was performed by his near and dear ones together with the neighbouring villages. The funeral rites and the ceremony were performed with honour according to Kuki custom befitting the great Chief and in the same manner honours were shown to his ancestors. It is said that Chandrakirti Singh, the King of Manipur came upto Aisan to pay tributes to the departed soul. He fluttered a black flag on the grave of Helkhup Doungel. He was succeeded by his brother Manlhun who was a weak Chief. It was then that a powerful lobby within the clan prevailed upon the others to bring a more competent person i.e. Nguljam Doungel and his son Chengjapao Doungel who were living at Seitol village to assume Chief-ship of Aisan. They are within the line of succession (ki gamnga). Helkhup was the grandson of Neingul while Nguljam was the grandson of Haongul who were brothers. Chengjapao's father died early but he began to attend to the affairs of Aisan village and creditably handled them. When Manlhun died, he took over the Chief-ship which was the desire of the people of Aisan. "In the beginning of the 19th Century, the Meitei kingdom of Kangleipak was in turmoil for many years. After assassination of King Garibniwas, the Burmese successively invaded Kangleipak. King Chaurajit was not in a position to defend Kangleipak. He requested Kukis in 1810 to remain as sentinels by settling in the ring of hills around the valley so as to prevent Burmese' invasions which they did." - P.S. Haokip. The Kukis had moved northward from Chin Hills several decades ago in three groups. The Kipgens, Sitlhous, Singsons, Hmars, Hangshings and Changsans etc. went westward into Cachar, Tamenglong and Naga Hills. The Haokips, Touthangs, Milhems, Baites, Lunkims etc. went eastward to Kabow valley, Chandel, Ukhrul and Hamolin area. Aisan people were in the middle accompanied mostly by Chonglois. During their sojourn in Moirang for few years, they found that their kinsmen Koms, Koirengs, Chirus etc had settled in the area long ago. Kangleipak kingdom was beset with internal rivalries and intrigues leading to fratricidal war and was in complete turmoil. Chaurajit was ultimately driven out by his brother Marjit in 1812 and fled to Cachar along with his brother Gambhir Singh. Marjit ascended the throne with Burmese' help and ruled as a puppet till 1819.

But in the same year, the Burmese overran and took actual control and ruled upto 1826. Marjit also fled to Cachar to join the other kings in exile. The Burmese ruled for seven years and this period is known as "Chahi taret khuntakpa" which marked the darkest period of Kangleipak History. The hills, however, remained free because the Burmese could not conquer the hill people. After Anglo-Burmese War in 1824, Gambhir Singh set out on a campaign to regain the Kangleipak Kingdom. He requested Kukis for help which they did by providing more than 500 strong warriors and other resources. It is during his sojourn at Cachar that he came in close contact with Kuki chiefs of the Singson clan, notably Senvon, Lungthulen, Khongjang and Taithu etc. who formed the bulk of hill warriors assisting him. Sokhojam (Sogaijam according to Meiteis) rose to be a general in the Kangleipak army and became part of that establishment. Gambhir Singh drove out the Burmese and recaptured Kangleipak in 1826. He was assisted by 1000 Kuki warriors when he subjugated Angami Nagas in 1832. There used to be even a signboard called "Kuki Piquet" just before reaching Kohima war cemetery while going from Imphal. In 1851-52, Haotinkhup, powerful Suhte king invaded Manipur, defeated the Meiteis and king Chandrakirti was taken captive and carried away to Chinland (Tiddim area). Kukis mobilized 1200 strong troops, fought against the Suhtes (their own kinsmen), rescued king Chandrakirti and restored him to the throne. The rise of British power caused a corresponding decline of the Meitei kings which also affected their allies. The defeat of the Meitei king in the battle of Khongjom in 1891 and annexation of Manipur to British India dealt a death blow. Free people as they were, they hated living under the British. They therefore migrated further north east to Vahong area in Chingai sub-division and Somra tract areas in Burma far away from the reach of British authorities where they again established themselves strongly. Tangkhuls Puchuries and other tribes in the area paid annual tributes in acknowledgement of their suzerainty. It is recalled by many that King Gambhir Singh presented an elephant which was tied at present Molkon Village, then named "SAIHENJANG". Aisan people were a part of mainstream Thadou-Kuki group but how they came northward was narrated by Pu Thanglhun Doungel, 80 years old of Molkon Village whose ancestors were all in the group when they came to the present places of settlement. The Kukis have a tradition of taking their village name wherever they migrate and give the same name to the villages they establish in most cases. Chengjapao Doungel was known for his wisdom and generosity and justice prevailed during the period of his chieftainship. His territory spread through Chingai sub-division of Ukhrul District to Somra Tract (Burma) and Pochuri region of Nagaland. He ruled over his chiefdom up to the Kuki War of Independence, 1917-1919. The people who lived within Chief Chengjapao's territory had to pay taxes (Si-le-Kai) in acknowledgement of his suzerainty. The tributes is called "Samal and Changseo" which consists of a "longkai" (long basket) of paddy annually per household and the hind leg of an animal (deer, stag, wild boar etc.) killed in hunting. During the reign of Chengjapao, Aisan's glory spread far and wide and it became the most powerful village. The reason being that Chengjapao was not only the head of Doungel clan but also of the entire Thadou-Kuki Clan (Mi-Upa). He was therefore looked upon as the ultimate authority among the Kukis because of which he wielded great authority over the other chiefs. He could rise much higher above the position he attained by virtue of his lineage because of his inborn courage and wisdom and ability to organize. Aisan's paramouncy was acknowledged by the British and they proclaimed Chengjapao Doungel as "King of Kukis" i.e Kuki Raja. VAST TERRITORIAL OCCUPATION

The Kukis were and still are scattered over a vast region in India as well as in the neighbouring countries. A sizeable number of Kukis are found in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh and along the West Upper Chindwin Valley in Burma (Myanmar). Among the Indian States a large number of Kukis are found in Manipur, South West region of Nagaland, North Cachar Hills, Karbi Anglong in Assam and in the State of Tripura. Before fighting with the British, Kukis were powerful. They knew the use of firearms and were good marksmen and fighters. In the hills, they were rarely challenged seriously by anyone. Rather, they came to live in Ukhrul area to keep peace among villages which were fighting against one another. In Tamenglong (Laijang) area, Kukis were encouraged to live in order to protect Zeliang Nagas from the Angamis who oppressed them. This is the reason why they lived wherever they chose which has now made them scattered over many places. There are, however, certain areas where they are well concentrated also. In Manipur, they form the second largest population with more than 2,50,000 people living mostly in Sadar Hills, Churachandpur and Chandel Districts. This is without counting other cognate tribes who prefer the nomenclature of Chin or Zomi. The other area of their concentration is Sagaing Division of Burma where more than 1, 00,000 people are concentrated. They were crushed by the Britishers because of their rebellion against them. For this reason, their being scattered is often wrongly alluded to their nomadic tendency by those who hardly know their past history. Mr. R. Brown, the then political agent at Imphal remarked, "If the Kukis settling in Manipur are treated with justice and kindness, they will prove to be a source of strength to the country and be among the most useful of its population. If on the contrary a selfish policy is adopted and this I fear is most likely to be a case which may turn the Kuki towards the Maharaja side entirely considering the present state of tumult." The Kukis lived in peace and tranquility both among themselves and also maintained good relationship with neighbouring villages wherever they lived. STRENGTHENING THE BOND OF KINSHIP Being a Mi-Upa, Chengjapao Doungel had many obligatory functions to perform in matters of social and cultural integration of Kuki tribes. Such social intercourse by touring and visiting important villages helped in strengthening the bond of kinship. His entourage used to consist of some elderly persons to take part in discussion and discourse, young men to guard and protect and slaves to serve. The villagers wherever he visited would come out some distance to welcome and escort him. In this connection, he paid a visit to his kinfolks in Burma (Myanmar) village namely Phailengjang. He also visited Molvailup, Phaisat etc. on Burma border. He visited Jampi, the stronghold of Sitlhou clan in the western part of Manipur and Chahsat the principal village of Haokip clan in the north eastern part of Manipur. He had also visited some villages in Naga Hills (Present Nagaland) like Kangdung, Songsang, Sinjol, Chalkot etc. In North Cachar Hills also he paid a visit to Diger Kuki area (Dimphai) and Haflong area (Aplonggam). The people whom he visited warmly welcomed him by killing mithun, pigs and served him with jars of Ju (wine as per the family record). In this way, ceremonious welcome befitting of a Mi-Upa was accorded to him and grand feasts held in his honour. KUKIS LIVED UNDER WELL

The Kukis lived under their powerful Chiefs who had a well organized system of administration. They governed them according to their custom and tradition un-interfered by any external agents. Every village was semi-independent ruled by the Chief whose position is akin to that of a tiny monarch and who is assisted by Semang (Minister), Pachong (Minister- internal security) and Lhangsam (Tollaipao-information and publicity). These persons are elected by the village assembly.

As Kuki social structure was traditionally based on precedence of lineal descent, the placements of each chief was determined by their seniority in their respective clans and over-all clan seniority in the pluralistic sovereignty of the collective villages. This also places the ultimate authority on the senior most head who is the Chief of Aisan. This was the position when villages were big, but with the coming up of small ones, drastic transitional changes have overtaken. But when the British brought the Kuki areas (Chiefdoms) under their direct imperialistic rule, various unfamiliar problems cropped up for the subjugated Kukis. They could not adapt very easily to the alien rule and the outcome of which culminated in Kukis Rebellion of 1917-1919 A.D. The great Kuki Chiefs of Aisan Chengjapao Doungel, Lhukhomang Haokip alias Pache of Chahsat the head of Haokip clan and Khotinthang Chief of Jampi, head of Sitlhou clan took upon themselves the responsibility of organizing Kuki political meetings at regular intervals for the freedom struggle of their motherland which they occupied from generation to generation. It is surprising that Chengjapao Doungel even mentioned in one of his speeches that a man called Gandhi is using a new weapon (his reference is to non-violence and non-cooperation), which would soon render the Britishers helpless and grant freedom. Observations by Gen. D.K. Palit in Sentinels of N.E., Prof. Borpujari in Problems of Hill tribes and Col. Shakespeare in History of Assam Rifles - all support the fact that Bengali Nationalists sent emissaries urging Kukis to rise against the British. This also reinforces the fact that it was not an isolated revolt but a part of Indian struggle for freedom against the British rule.


OF 1917-1919 A.D.
The Anglo-Kuki war had many causes, longstanding as well as immediate causes:1. The Longstanding Causes: - The coming of the British in Manipur resulted in a number of changes in the political sphere, social and economic life of the people in general and the Kuki tribes in particular. In the hands of the British, the Kukis were forced to forfeit self-rule and selfsufficiency by imposition of a political system in those days just contrary to what they expected from the Britishers. Little did they knew that "they preferred their freedom to the beneficent British yoke, not having forgotten the times before British conquest of the Country" (Pioneer, 1918).It was due to this exploitation that the Kukis had to wage a costly war against the British in the year between 1917 and 1919. The Kuki war, as a matter of fact, was a serious problem which shook the whole of North Eastern Frontier of India. 2. The policy of the British was to control the Hill people totally. They imposed land revenue by introducing hill house tax and forced labour which was something new and unbearable. It may be added that the Raja of Manipur never ruled directly over the Kukis. He was contented with their providing of fighting men as and when needed. In fact, Raja Gambhir Singh subjugated Angamis at Kohima and advanced as far as the Brahmaputra Valley near Sibsagar with the help of Kuki warriors. 3. The sending of expeditionary forces against those Kuki villages which were supposed to be involved in head hunting curtailed their power in the hill areas of Manipur (mainly Ukhrul area) though it earned salutation of some weaker minor tribes or small villages. The bigger and powerful villages considered it as an absolute interference in their freedom and internal affairs. This has made their hegemony over other tribes diminish so much so that the Kukis regarded the British as 'oppressors' and greatly resented their laws.

4. Potthang (Forced Labour): - This hateful system of the British was abolished in the valley of Manipur but was still continued in the hills. The people submitted a number of petitions to the Government to exempt them from Potthang but they failed to evoke any response from the Government. This burden of Potthang was to a great extent responsible for discontentment against the British. 5. Confiscating guns: - The British Government had laid down a rule wherein it was stated that only 1(one) gun was to be allowed for every 10(ten) houses and that extra possession of gun was to be confiscated. The Kukis in those days were in possession of the largest number of guns because they had acquired the art of manufacturing firearms and gunpowder in abundance. The system of strict licensing of gun was seriously resented by the hill-men specially Kukis who had made the gun their lifelong companion. This action of the Government more than anything hurt their pride and greatly alienated the Kukis from the British. 6. Kukis Society: - In the Kuki Society, the Chiefs (Haosa) were hereditary and almost absolutely despotic. "They could even kill or sell their subjects into slavery without any dissent". As the Kukis were under self-rule and sovereign, the Chief (Haosa) also was the fountain of honour. The villagers utilized the land during their good relationship with the Chief; otherwise the common villager had to migrate elsewhere. In Manipur before the coming of the British, the Maharaja never tried to interfere in the internal affairs of the Kukis. Whatever they did for the Maharaja was voluntary and not compulsion. But when the Britishers consolidated their position in the valley, they began to do whatever the Raja did not dare and finally began to introduce their laws which the Kukis could not accept. 7. Economy: - The economy of the Kukis was very poor in terms of money though they had their own standard of living. They traded plantain leaves, cane, cotton and bamboo goods etc. with the plains' people. The economy of the Kukis was mainly dependent on Jhum or shifting cultivation. Their income from selling of these commodities were all spent for buying their day to day requirements such as salt, clothes etc. and as there was only a small circulation of currency in those days in Manipur, the commercial transaction between the people of hills and plains were based mainly on barter system. Thus, it was very difficult to save a large sum of money in cash. In this miserable condition of livelihood, the Kukis had to pay a house tax of Rs. 3/- per house per year of which they received no benefit at all. "The hill-men had to contribute thousands of rupees per year in the form of house tax but had in return practically got no benefit". This economic drain was one major factor that led the Kukis to rise in rebellion against the British. 8. Lambus System: - Lambu system was one of the major factors leading to the rebellion of the Kukis. The Kuki Chiefs lived and occupied the major Hill areas of Manipur. But after annexation of Manipur in 1891 by the British, the administration of the Hill areas was taken over by the Political Agent and the Vice-President of the Durbar was responsible for the administration of Hill areas. Accordingly, they introduced the Lambu system in Manipur and Dobasi system in Assam. Lambus acted as Hill peon interpreter and advisors to the British Officials. The Lambus took advantage of their contact with the rulers who in turn became more dependent on them rather than the Chiefs for administrative purposes. The Manipur Hills in particular covering 7000 sq. miles with a huge population was administered through Lambus. The Kuki Chiefs who maintained equal status of relationship with the Meitei King resented the interference by Lambus. The British administration entrusted these Lambus to try petty cases. These at times led to the Lambus even overruling the Chiefs. Because of this, they were given favourable treatment in each and every village. "These Lambus are responsible in no small measures for the rebellions". Petty employees becoming an extension of the bureaucracy twisted many things and brought disrepute to the British rule which even otherwise was resented enough by the Kukis. The Britishers realized belatedly that remote control as above would not work. British officers should remain in close touch with them always

and if possible to be in their midst as far as possible; but that opportunity had gone and rebellion had broken out.

Labour Corps: - When the World War I broke out in Europe, some Naga and Kuki men were recruited much against their will and sent to France to help the British forces. They were engaged in digging trenches carrying loads and building base camps. The war in Europe grew from bad to worse and the British in India wanted more men to be recruited to go to France. In this regard, the Kuki Chiefs had a meeting with Mr. Higgin I.C.S., Political Agent at Oktan village in Sept/Oct 1917 as earlier proposed by him. The main discussion was recruitment for the Labour Corps in France. Mr. Higgins, the Political Agent informed the Kuki Chiefs about the matter and he rode a horse and went all alone towards Oktan village. He also took along a good amount of Jukha (Local alcoholic beverage) as gifts in the meeting. Mr. Higgins tried to persuade the Kuki Chiefs to send some young men for the Labour Corps. Mr. Higgins told the Kukis that if they agreed to the proposal, he would give a gun to every Kuki Chief plus many other things. However, the Kukis received a message from their Chief Chengjapao Doungel that the Kuki sovereignty must be maintained at any cost. This led the Kukis to refuse. Mr. Higgins' offer of drinks and his proposal were turned down. They informed Mr. Higgins that the Kukis were warriors and not manual labourers. They therefore, would not join the Labour Corps. To end the meeting amicably, the Kuki Chiefs offered gifts to Mr. Higgins comprising of Dahpi (Gong) and Dangka (Silver) but the gifts were not accepted. So, the Oktan Durbar ended without concrete results for either party i.e., the British rulers and the Kukis. Mr. Higgins made a second attempt by meeting the Kuki Chiefs at Lonpi (Mombi) in Oct. 1917 hoping that the influential Chief Ngulkhup Haokip might agree and sway the other Chiefs in favour of the British. He did not succeed as Ngulkhup firmly stood by the decision earlier taken as conveyed to him in the above. This was the last nail on the coffin that led to the inevitable punitive measure of British Government and the outbreak of rebellion in retaliation by Kukis. Mr. Higgins wanted to take punitive measures against them by using the Assam Rifles. But this did not succeed because most of the force deployed in British-India and British-Burma had gone to France. Therefore, a regular army the 2nd Gorkha Regiment comprising of three officers and hundred armed personnel replaced the Assam Rifles in Kohima. They were sent to fight the Kukis. "The Imperial force made up at 5400 British military Comprising 2400 from India and 3000 from Burma Riflemen, in all under the command of Brigadier- General C.E.K. Macquoid fought stiff battle against Kuki Warriors" Initially the British did not believe that the Kukis would have many weapons because they had already confiscated a large number of their guns before 1917. That the Imperial rulers underestimated the strength of the Kukis was apparent when the British were humiliated on all fronts in the beginning of War. However, as the war continued, because of superior organization and equipment, the imperial power began to gain the upper hand in the long run. And in the end, the Kukis had to surrender to the Britishers.

Under the leadership of Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan, Lhukhomang Haokip of Chassad, Khotinthang Sitlhou of Jampi and Tintong Haokip of Laijang had a lengthy discussion that took place in preparation for the first Kuki War of Independence 1917-1919 at Chahsat Village on 7th March, 1917.

Amongst others, the Kuki Chiefs who attended the Conclave were: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. Pu Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan. Pu Lhukhomang Haokip alias Pache, Chief of Haokip Clan. Pu Letjahao Chongloi, Chief of Khomunnom. Pu Kondem Baite, Chief of Sadih/Sachih. Pu Paokhohen Kipgen, Chief of Bongbal Kholen. Pu Ngulbul Haokip, Chief of Longya. Pu Haokhopao Kipgen, Chief of Molvailup. Pu Tukih Nangjapao Lupheng, Chief of Tonglhang. Pu Kamjahen Haokip, Chief of Phailengjang. Pu Letkhothang Haokip, Chief of Khotuh. Pu Semkholun Haokip, Chief of Phaisat. Pu Tongkholun Haokip, Dy. Chief of Phailengjang. Pu Sonkhopao Haokip, Chief of Twisomjang. Pu Jalhun Haokip, Chief of Molvom. Pu Thongkhomang Haokip, Chief of Phunchong. Pu Doujapao Mate, Chief of Thomjang. Pu Vumtong Haokip, Chief of Maokot. Pu Laso Haokip, Chief of Selmei. Pu Lenpu Hangsing, Chief of Vongjang. Pu Ngulkhojam Chongloi, Chief of Maval. Pu Amjapao Chongloi, Chief of Kholen. Pu Nguljalhun Chongloi, Chief of Thingphai. Pu Palhun Hangshing, Chief of Tingpibung.

Besides these Chiefs, there were a number of Chiefs from Burma. In this Conclave Meeting, the discussion included the making of united Kuki stand against the British, manufacture of weapons and stocking of food-grain. On this occasion, a customary Mithun was killed by the Chassad Chief Lhukhomang Haokip alias Pache on which the people feasted.

SAJAM (VOW TO FIGHT UNITEDLY) Pu. Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan performed the customary rites 'Sajam' firstly at Aisan in the 1st day of March, 1917. Some days later, Pu Lhukhomang Haokip alias Pache, Chief of Haokip clan also performed the customary rite of Sajam on 7th March, 1917 at Chahsat. He invited the eldest leader of Kuki Tribe Pu Chengjapao Doungel to grace the ceremony. Likewise, 'Sajam Lhah' ceremony was also performed at the following places: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Jampi (Western Manipur) Hanglep (Southern Manipur) Mombi (Lonpi) South Eastern Manipur. Joujang (Somra Area) Phailengjang (Upper Chindwin) Haflong Area (North Cachar & Mikir Hills in Assam)

7. Mechangbung (Northern area i.e. present Nagaland) SAJAM - A portion of meat was used for oath taking whereupon warriors of the respective villages took a symbolic bite. "They also killed one more Mithun and sent a piece of meat to each and every Kuki chief in the entire length and breadth of their inhabited land. They also sent one bullet and an earring to their Chin brothers in Chin Hills as sign to fight the British and to support to the call given by their Kuki brothers."

In absence of modern communication, the Kukis resorted to their traditional means. The indigenous and traditional method is called THINGKHO le MALCHAPOM (Chilly tied to smouldering firewood). Thingkho le Malchapom was relayed from one village to another and it covered the entire area of Kuki inhabited land within a matter of two or three days. These Thingkho le Malchapom signaled the declaration of war on the British in 1917. At Chahsat Conclave, Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan, by virtue of being the Piha or Pipa (Head of the Kukis), was authorized to issue orders to each and every corner of their suzerain land. The message was that no Kuki should respond to the call of the British to go to France, but rather they should make all preparation to wage war against the British. Every Kuki followed the orders of their Head Chief, the Aisan-Pa. So, there started a mass preparation for the war and every Kuki contributed to the effort in every way they could. Some manufactured guns, ammunitions while some prepared Pumpi (Cannon), others prepared Songkhaithang (Stone-traps) and other indigenous traps, and others collected and stored different kinds of material, arsenal and supplies in different places.

It was necessary to have another meeting. Accordingly, the Kuki Chiefs had meeting at Jampi in the Western area of Manipur on 17th March, 1917. The Chiefs who attended the meeting were: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Pu. Khotinthang Sitlhou alias Kilkhong, Chief of Jampi. Pu. Tintong Haokip, Chief of Laijang. Pu. Sonchung Sitlhou, Chief of Sangnao. Pu. Lunkholal Sitlhou, Chief of Chongjang. Pu. Vumngul Kipgen, Chief of Tujang. Pu. Lhunjangul Kipgen, S/o Vumngul. Pu. Enjakhup Kholhou, Chief of Thenjang. Pu. Leothang Haokip, Chief of Gobah. Pu. Mangkhoon Haokip, Chief of Tingkai. Pu. Heljason Haokip, Chief of Laibol.

The 'Jampi Meeting' was attended by regional elders, intellectual and village volunteers and it was concerning preparation for the coming war with the British for safeguarding of their motherland in accordance with the order issued by the head of the Kukis, Chengjapao Doungel. During discussion, Sonchung Sitlhou Chief of Sangnao stood up and said that an order was issued by the head of the Kuki tribes. Chengjapao Doungel, but he doubted whether they could fight the British since they were

subordinates and inferior to them in every field. If they annoyed the Government by rebelling against them, they may face innumerable hardships. One after another, the gathered Chiefs presented their views. Vumngul Kipgen, Chief of Tujang expressed doubt saying, "We do not have sufficient guns and ammunitions to fight the British and their force". Instantly, an angry Khotinthang Sitlhou, Chief of Jampi stood up and silenced them saying, "You are chicken-hearted". Hearing the words of doubt and discouragement from some of the Chiefs, Pu Tintong Haokip Chief of Laijang stood up, fired his gun and swore in the name of his forefathers and sang songs of valour (Kiminlah) proclaiming that "I would fight the British to the last of my bullet, winning or losing is not the matter, but I would protect my sovereignty". That was the signal that war against the British was the only way to live honourably and free. The determined Chiefs who gathered elected Chief Tintong Haokip of Laijang as Commander-in-Chief and Enjakhup Kholhou of Thenjang as the 2nd in Command of the Kuki forces. They invited Lenkhokam Chongloi from Haflong, Assam who was an expert in designing and making guns. With Lenkhokam Chongloi's skills, the Kukis were able to make a large number of guns in no time. Amongst others, the contribution of Enjakhup Kholhou is great because as an ex-serviceman (Assam Rifles) he trained and built up the army.

Declaration of war on British on 17th March, 1917 started with war activities over all sectors of land inhabited by the Kukis. All sectors according to their preparations and movement of the enemy started attacking government establishment or fighting battles with advancing forces. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Upper Burma sector - Sagaing division, Somra tract in Burma (Myanmar). Manipur Southern sector - Churachandpur District. Manipur Western sector - Laijang and Jampi (Tamenglong). Manipur Eastern Sector. The Naga Hills Northern sector - Ahthibung, present Nagaland. The Assam sector - North Cachar Hills and Karbi-Anglong.

Burma Sector:

The Burma sector covered the present Sagaing Division upto Chin Hills. The commanders in this sector were Captain Falkland and Captain Montiforece and they had fifty sepoys each under their command. They were met with a stiff opposition from the Kuki Army. The Kukis in this region had vowed to defend their motherland according to the resolution adopted in Chahsat meeting. And Chengjapao Doungel, the Kuki Chief issued orders to all the Kuki Chiefs of Burma Sector to stand firmly and unitedly. A battle was fought in the Kabaw valley and the Jangmol Hills. From Tamu Capt. Coote and his men headed towards Imphal HQ and pitched battles were fought at Naugkatoh, Khampet, Canan, Tuivang, Tuidumjang, Khommunom, Jang Jouphai, Haipijang and Tuikhal. Many of the British soldiers were killed and most of the Kuki villages were burnt down. The Kukis were not as well equipped as the British army. Therefore, they finally left and hid themselves in deep jungles as told by our aged elders and forefathers. In Southern Chin Hills, Capt. Falkland and his troop were sent to fight. They fought in Yokwa and Kapiator. In this battle, a number of British sepoys were killed and many more were injured. Capt. Steadman and his army fought with the Kuki army at many other places also.

Southern Sector (Manipur):

This sector covered the whole of present Churachandpur and Chandel districts. The British in this sector were commanded by Captain Goodal Fox, Lt. Carter and Lt. Hooper. At the counsel of the Kuki Pipa Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan, all the Chiefs within the sector assembled in March, 1917 at Joujang. The Chief of Joujang and the Chief of Henglep held a feast for their fellow Chiefs which consisted of Mithun meat. Sajam performed was followed by war message by Thingkho and Malchapom to proclaim to the Chiefs and also appeal for their unflinching support to fight against the British. In the midst of all these, raid on Ithai Forest toll station was carried out by Kukis of Ukha, Henglep area and others on 19th Dec. 1917 at the instance of one Manipuri of dubious character named Chinga Khamba. He took advantage of the Kuki built-up for war against British government and thus precipitated the first action. In their bid to defend their motherland, the Kukis in this region attacked the Police, Thanas, damaged telegraph lines, destroyed Government properties and killed telegraph personnel. When the news of the Kuki's offensive reached the authorities, Col. L.W. Shakespear, D.I.G. summoned Capt. Goodall, Lt. Carter to March from Aizawl and they arrived at Bongmol village in March, 1918. The war in Manipur actually started in this sector. After the abortive Oktan meeting, J.C. Higgins, PMSD made another attempt to raise Labour Corp by having meeting with Ngulkhup Haokip, powerful Chief of Lonpi (Mombi) and others at his village. When persuasion failed, he threatened them but that also failed. Further, Mrs. Cole, wife of the Political agent tried to convince Ngulkhup in her personal capacity but that also failed. J.C. Higgins had to take punitive measures as a last resort. In fact, he himself had to march against the rebellious Kukis with Columns of Assam Rifles under his charge and Lonpi Village was burnt on 17th Oct. 1917. He later sent troops to punish Ngulkhup and Ngulbul. This only made them more determined and Chief Ngulkhup declared that Kuki territory was out of bound for the British. The son of Ngulkhup and two sons of Ngulbul, Chief of Longja began organizing Kuki forces. A fierce battle was fought on the bank of Kana River on 21st December, 1917 where Ngulbul and his valiant sons fell to the bullet of British army. Many others including Ngulkhup's son were wounded while many British army likewise suffered heavy casualties; yet they did not surrender and the war continued. Casualty on the British side in this battle included one British Officer and six sepoys killed. This was casualty on the first day. But the total number of Britishers and other soldiers killed in the one already mentioned and in subsequent battles exceeded thirty. Contrary to the earlier impression that opposition would collapse once there is realization about their inability to withstand columns of government forces, the Kukis did not submit but fought on. Except for battles fought on well placed stockades, Kukis had well adapted themselves to jungle warfare and resorted to sniping at advancing columns and then disappear. Being born guerrilla fighters, they engaged government forces in hit and run war which made the Britishers change their strategy. The government made preparations for large scale operations covering Kuki inhabited areas of Manipur, Burma and Assam. They also built up resources to sustain a prolong war. Fighting for a year and loss of one season's crop, no doubt, affected the Kuki warriors' food supply to some extent; but when it stretched beyond two crop seasons, the telling effects were discernible all over. Howsoever matchless their endurance might have been, to keep fighting for days, months and years took their toll. They gradually capitulated before British government forces who were better equipped and backed up by uninterrupted supplies of food, materials and ammunition.

In Singngat area, the Zous and Haokips together fought the British. The Zous were led by Chief of Behiang, Pu Langzaching. They stockaded their villages of Hengtam and Ihite. Fierce fighting took place and exchange of fire lasted for a whole day in these two fortified villages. Sokel of Zou lost his life on the banks of the river Gun. Another man Sokam Mate from Khajang village died in this encounter. The Zou Kukis were gallant and patriotic. In Henglep area, the Kuki Army stood in position awaiting the attack. When the British had to pass through Khengjang village which was a steep climb from the river Leimatak, stone traps were released. Ten soldiers went rolling down the cliff and many of them suffered broken limbs. Henglep stockades were strongly built too which rifles failed to penetrate through the huge blocks of climbers used for fortifications. A fierce battle took place. After a long-drawn battle, the exhaustion of Kuki ammunitions paved the way for the British victory in Henglep area.
The Western Sector (Jampi and Laijang) Manipur:

This Western sector of Jampi and Laijang covered the whole of present Tamenglong District and the Western Sadar Hills of present Manipur State. In this sector, the British forces were commanded by Maj. Marshall, Capt. Montefiere, Lt. Water, Lt. Needham and Lt. Sanderson. This region was the territory of Tintong Haokip, Commander-in-Chief and Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Enjakhup Kholhou. The Chiefs Summit had performed SAJAM ceremony at Jampi and Laijang areas organized in accordance to the call of the head Chief (Pipa) Chengajpao Doungel. It was held on the 17th of March, 1917 hosted at Jampi by Khotinthang Sitlhou alias Kilkhong, Chief of Jampi. After the Summit came to close, Khotinthang slaughtered a Mithun as a symbol of solidarity and oath and they feasted on the heart and the liver of the Mithun. Then, they prepared a share of the Sajam for each of the Chiefs in the region and had them circulated with Thingkho-le-Malchapom. A share each was also sent to Chengjapao Doungel and Pache Haokip to inform them of the success of the Summit. The British army marched toward Taloulong and overran the stockade. There was a heavy exchange of fire and many Assam Rifles lost their lives. The British Army next marched to Buning and torched thirty houses and they harassed the children and women folk. From Buning the British Assam Rifles proceeded to Iting and made preparations to attack Kolkang. The way to Kolkang was steep uphill and narrow straits and stone-traps were laid. The traps when released instantly killed twenty sepoys. The riflemen again regrouped and made a fresh offensive from another point. Next, the British forces marched towards Sangnao. The Chief offered terms of peace to the British and the village was saved from destruction.

He was a man from Khaochangbung village. The village folks in his honour killed a pig and presented him with a shawl and set him off to face the challenge. He sat and waited under the thickets of banyan tree. He ambushed an advancing British troop and killed a frontline soldier. Before he could launch a second attack he was shot in the leg. Shifting himself to the nearby edge cliff, he was pursued before reloading his gun, he was apprehended, beheaded and his portrait dressed in his headgear and bead has been taken away by the British. He was one among those who sacrificed their lives to defend Zalengam in the war against the British. The linking road to Manipur with the rest of the world i.e. Silchar-Imphal road and Kohima-Imphal cart road were not yet constructed into proper Highways. By these two roads, provision including foodstuffs and equipment for the British force were transported. Tintong Haokip and Enjakhup Kholhou terrorized the British forces, burnt down the Government rest houses; communication lines including the

Telegraph lines were destroyed and totally cut off. The British forces were in complete chaos and disarray in this sector. This area however being close to headquarters from Imphal and Kohima, government forces also had the advantage of mobilizing and deploying their forces quickly in operations against the rebels. Resistance, therefore, gradually crumbled paving the way for British forces to control the area.
Eastern Sector:

This area lies between India and Burma and the axis of three powerful Chiefs i.e. Aisanpa, Chahsatpa and Lonpipa gave the staunchest resistance in this area. The history of Anglo-Kuki war will be incomplete if the roles of (1) Pache (Lhukhomang Haokip) Chief of Chahsat, (2) Nangjapao Lupheng (Tukih) Chief of Tonglhang and (3) Vumkhokhai Haokip, Chief of Monglham are not brought out. Pache was physically very strong and courageous person. His village Chahsat is so located that it is not easily accessible either from British headquarters at Imphal or from HomalinThungdut side of Burma. Further, he was a great Chief since he was the head of Haokip clan and because of that many Kuki villages in Manipur and Burma side were under his rule with hardly any interference. "Tangkhul Naga villages that live in dread of Kukis" awed allegiance and also paid tributes to him. He was in constant touch with Chengjapao(Aisanpa)and Ngulkhup Haokip Chief of Lonpi (Mombi) so that a common stand and synchronized approach was adopted. In fact, Chahsat Chief and Lonpi Chief were the ones whose actions principally affected Burma side as well and gave the greatest headache to British rulers. The first overt act of aggression of Kukis in Burma area took place on 21st December, 1917 which was the same time battles were fought near and around Mombi. Mr Parker, ICS SDO Homalin, who was sent with 50 riflemen to prevent Kukis of Burma from helping in the fight in Chahsat area failed as he was attacked and forced to return. In fact, he narrowly escaped himself being surrounded by Kukis. Another setback to the British had been the failure of Mr Molesworth Supdt. of Police, 85 M.I. Burma Military Police to reach Chahsat as he was killed. Heavy casualties on the British side were inflicted. However, Major T.H.D. Hacket was sent again and he reached Phaisat on 31st January, 1918 and burnt down the villages in the area. After sometime, another column proceeding to Chahsat theatre failed to reach as their British Commander was severely wounded and the column also forced to return. Finally, Captain C.E. Montefiore's column composed of Kabow Valley and South Manipur columns joined up with Captain R.M.F. Patrict M.C's column at Kongal Thana on 21st March, 1918 and they marched and occupied the important village of Chahsat some days later. The British forces were repulsed more than twice before they could occupy Chahsat. Then also, they took nearly a month to subjugate and control the area during which they suffered heavy casualties. Pache, however, had disappeared only to renew the fight elsewhere. He continued to fight with undying spirit and was the last Chief to surrender before General Keary in May 1919. However, occupation of Chahsat by British forces marked the fall of one main bastion of Kuki rebellion which brought a demoralizing affect among them. (Ref: Hon'ble C.M. Webb I.C.S. Chief Secy to Government of Burma's report to Foreign Secy to G.O.I. Foreign and Pol Dept No. 901P-2C-2 of February 1919.) In this theatre, the Generals planning battle strategies and physically leading were Nangjapao Lupheng, Chief of Tonglhang and Vumkhokhai Haokip, Chief of Monglham who is next in seniority to Chahsat Chief in the Doungul family of Haokip clan. Their friendship had started more than two decades ago when they raided Chingjaroi Tangkhul Village in 1898 wiping out almost the entire able bodied male population (258 in all) in an act of revenge for the most gruesome murder of his 'jol' Kishing Tangkhul (jol denotes friendship with members of other tribesmen), other accumulated wrong doings and defiance of his dictat. Chingjaroi Village also worked as British spies. Recently, much outcry had been made about the barbarity of this act. Unfortunate indeed it

was. What can be said about this is that it has to be viewed in the backdrop of headhunting which was prevalent in those days and considered normal according to the standard of that age. Nangjapao Lupheng was nicknamed 'Tukih' for backing out twice in planned attack of Chingjaroi. He succeeded in the third attempt. He was a very well built man endowed with extraordinary physical strength and prowess, with an air of natural command. He was a very skilled hunter and an excellent marksman. Apart from killing tigers and elephants, his outstanding deeds of valour is the slaying of two Lhomis (Lion man) which terrorized Kolsung and Khelselbung Villages in Burma. He was especially requested for the purpose as the people of the area felt that no one else could do it. He became a legend like "Boewulf". He preserved the tails as trophy. He was the most trusted general of Chengjapao and Lhukhomang (Pache) who organized the Kuki army, planned battle strategies and personally led in battles. He was present in the thick of battles in Thungdut and Homalin area in Burma. He used to find time in covering areas between Aisan and Chahsat area. In actions in Manipur side, he fought side by side with his friend and comrade Vumkhokhai Haokip, Chief of Monglham. He was captured in Burma and after imprisonment in Homalin and Thungdut jails; he was deported and detained in Cellular jail in Andamans. The saddest fact is that he never returned home after his imprisonment in Andamans. Some say he was tortured and killed as the Britishers still feared his return.

The Northern Sector (Ahthibung in present Nagaland):

"This sector falls in Naga Hills (present Nagaland). The British forces in the Northern sector were commanded by Lt. Prior and Lt. Sanderson. The Kukis on the other side were led by Paohen Lotjem. The battles were fought in Kandung, Songlhuh, Songsang, Mechangbung, Paona, Singjol, Chalkot, Seleu River and several other places. In those days one of the best art of warfare for the Kukis was Songkhai-Thang (suspended stone trap) laid on narrow paths edges of the cliffs. Many British soldiers fell victim to those traps. The Kuki Army here also suffered severe limitation of food and ammunition supplies. They could not carry on the fight for very long."
The Assam Sector (North Cachar Hills, Karbi Anglong and Cachar):

"The sector covering Kuki inhabited area in North Cachar Hills, Karbi-Anglong and Cachar of Assam, Capt. Copeland was the British commander in this sector. The news of the Kuki offensive reached the D.I.G., Col. Shakespeare at Kohima when he was on his way from Imphal to Shillong. It was reported that six belligerent Kuki started attacking Government Institution and property, and were harassing the British Government servants. They also brought down telegraph lines, attacked Police Station and killed many policemen. As the post offices served as the main communication medium between the British and their allies, the offices were attached and many personnel got killed. The Kukis burnt down and damaged whatever they could lay their hands on. The labour hired by the Government for tea plantations were not spared. They were attacked and driven away from the gardens, thus creating acute scarcity of labour. Within a short time, the Kukis spread terror in North Cachar Hills. In dismay, railway volunteers also evacuated the town of Haflong. "The Kuki Army in groups of 70-80 went about freely terrorizing people wherever they went. To counter this, the DIG detached one hundred rifles of the 2nd Assam Rifles under Captain Copeland at Haflong." The heroism displayed by the Kukis in defence of N.C. Hills area of Assam was not prompted so much by the decision of their own but more in response to the clarion call of Chengjapao Doungel, Pipa of the Kukis. The Chiefs of the region assembled in the weekend in April, 1917. The Chief of the area slaughtered Mithun for the occasion by partaking of the liver and heart of the Mithun in the SAJAM ritual. It was agreed that all the Chiefs of the region should co-operate in defence of N.C. Hills. In the event of refusal, the village concerned would be burnt down and the existing chiefship removed. Thus, the Kuki Army and the British force were engaged in many battles. The British

force of ten soldiers led by Capt. Copeland suffered loss of lives and a few were fatally wounded. "To keep the Kukis in check, the British garrisons were stationed at Laikeh, Hangrum and Baladhan on the Manipur borders which were kept out till November 1918, but nothing further transpired on this side".

The British Government saw the rise of Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan and the revolt of the Kukis as a serious threat to their hegemony in the North eastern part of India. An arrest warrant was immediately issued against the great Kuki Chief and the search was on to catch him dead or alive in order to quell the historic Kuki rebellion that was masterminded and carried out under his leadership. It was reported that he was taking shelter at Kanjang Camp near new Aisan village in Naga Hills. So, the Assam Rifles under the command of the British officer marched to Kanjang Camps. Having learnt the approach of the Assam Rifles, the Kuki Army under the command of Haolun Lotjem ambushed the Assam Rifles on the way and one British officer died and the rest fled away. After the death of the British officer, Haolun composed a song. Kawlkeipa bang tonglama Chawi gong khawing Veicham angpa lhang boning kasiellie Gamsihtui bang ka lonsah ngawn ne. Free translation : (Like a lion I hold a gun and block the path; as I lay down the glorious foreigner, like flowing water his troops retreated). After two weeks on a rainy day the Assam rifles under a J.C.O. resumed their attack on Kanjang Camp where Chengjapao Doungel was stationed. But he was secretly sent through a hole on the Southern Wall of the fort escorted by Sutmang Singson to Vahong Camp in Ukhrul District, Manipur. When Assam Rifles captured Kanjang Camp, Chengjapao was no more there. The British Commander, however, did not get the slightest information of the whereabouts of Chengjapao. The commander announced a cash award to the villagers who would come forward and disclose the whereabouts of Chengjapao, but there was no response from the villagers. It was made known to the rebel Chiefs in July, 1918 that if they surrender within two months bringing their house tax and a number of guns estimated by political agent to be in their possession, no one would be punished without full and fair trial while the lives, property and members of their tribes would be spared. They were told that if they surrender before 1st November, 1918 by bringing their guns and house tax due from their villages, they would not be hanged or imprisoned but would merely be detained.
The North-Eastern Sector (Aisan):

The North-Eastern sector was under the authority of Chengjapao Doungel. The territories comprising Kanjang, Akhen and Meluri areas of present day Nagaland and Chinngai sub division of Ukhrul District of present day Manipur were under the political sovereignty of the Chief of Aisan. The people of this region fought bravely but were disunited. It was said that Pasut and Letkholal Singson joined the side of the British scouts and in fact led them in storming the stockades built by the Kuki Chief Chengjapao Doungel and Laljasong Haolai at Haijang who were commanders of the war here. When, in time more Kukis crossed over to the side of the British, secret plans and moves were revealed easily and it became immensely difficult for the Kukis to carry on fighting. The Government of India under the British General moved throughout the country overcoming

opposition, disarming all hostile villages and capturing the leading rebels. The military operations under Sir Henry Keary met with conspicuous success and were brought to an official close on the 20th May, 1919.


When some of the Kukis Chiefs surrendered and still more were apparently to follow suit, it became all the more difficult for Chengjapao Doungel to continue the war. As the head of Kuki Chiefs, Chengjapao Doungel decided to come to terms with the British. In the anticipation of more lenient terms for himself and his subordinate Chiefs, he purchased a huge elephant tusk from a Kipgen village in Burma for Rs.300/-. In a meeting that was solemn in mid spring 1917, he had the ivory presented to Mr. Higgins in Imphal Headquarters as a token of surrender. He requested to the Political agent Mr. Higgins, "As head among the Kuki Chiefs, I request you to pardon me and my brothers from the penalty of waging war, in defence of our motherland". The political officer Mr. Higgins replied that it was not within his authority to pardon them. But Higgins assured Chief Chengjapao Kuki that he was pleased by his actions and would reduce the punishment which was due to him and the others to a certain extent. "The Commander-in-Chiefs Mr. Tintong Haokip and Enjakhup Kholhou were finally captured with Mangkhoon in the village of Tingkai. With their capture, the war in the western front came to an end. It was already mid-May, 1919 but the capture of Pache was yet to be accomplished. Chief Pache being the head of the Haokip Chiefs, readily found shelter with one of them. A man of strength, courage and skill, he kept on the British force on a wild goose chase for a long time in a hit and run warfare. But when all of his fellow Chiefs and brothers had been captured, he preferred to finally surrender and joined them to meet the same fate of their suffering. He surrendered to Gen. Keary. With Pache's surrender, Gen. Keary declared the end of the first Kuki war of Independence on May 20, 1919 vide his report to Chief of Gen. Staff, Army Headquarters Simla No. 1762 K.P.M. June 1919." TRIAL AND CHARGE SHEET OF CHENGJAPAO DOUNGEL Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan - This man is "Piha" or "Pipa" head of all Kukis. The charges against him are as follow: 1. That Chengjapao Doungel began to organize opposition to recruiting for the labour corps even before coolies were actually sent for, holding a meeting at which he killed buffalo and distributed its flesh calling on other Chiefs to resist recruiting and to make war upon government. That Chengjapao Doungel came to Imphal after the arrest of his uncle by Mr. Higgins. Being detained for a day or two, was released in order that he might call in other recalcitrant Chiefs which he said he was able and willing to do so, but failed to induce the Chiefs. That Chengjapao Doungel kept up communi-cation with other rebels for joint action against government. That at Haijang, he maintained himself by looting neighbouring villages and a post was established at Lapvomi. He went out of his way to attack it and obtained the co-operation of Sri Toljakhup and Laljasong.


3. 4.


That he stockaded himself at Haijang and when ejected from there by the Lapvomi shilloi columns in March-April 1918, he migrated to Vahong in a "Cross hatch area" where he fortified himself and continued raiding for supplies in the neighbouring villages. That when his village at Vahong was burnt and destroyed by Lapvomi guards, he surrendered to Lieutenant Parry at Tusom village. His defence was that he merely objected to sending labourers to France. The advisory Committee found that Chengjapao Doungel was the first Chief to organize opposition for recruitment of labour corps. He sent around the fiery cross among the Kukis and seemed to have attempted to get the Angami Nagas to join.

6. 7. 8.

Eventually, he surrendered and the Committee recommended that the minimum period for which Chengjapao Doungel should be detained away from his country should be 15 years. They considered that the first year of his confinement should be spent in either the Tezpur or the Dibrugarh Jail and that thereafter, unless unforeseen complication arise, he might be kept under restrictions at Sodiya or some other places in the North - East Frontier Tracts. (Extract of Hon'ble Websters' Chief Secy to Chief Commissioner Assam's report to Govt. of India, Foreign and Political department of 27/06/1919.)

The Kuki Chiefs along with Tintong Haokip C-in-C and Enjakhup Kholhou Deputy C-in-C were all first tried as war criminals and sentences for imprisonment were passed accordingly. Some common charges were organization of opposition to recruiting labour corps, taking part in the armed rebellion against the Government and preventing the Chiefs willing to surrender. Tintong Haokip and Enjakhup Kholhou were charged for arming and giving training to group of people in the art of warfare. Accordingly, they were tortured and sentenced to imprisonment for a number of years as given below : Sl. No. Name of Prisoner Period of detention 1. Pu. Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan 15 years 2. Pu. Lhukhomang Haokip, Chief of Chahsat 20 years 3. Pu. Tintong Haokip, Chief of Laijang 20 years 4. Pu. Khotinthang Sitlhou, Chief of Jampi 15 years 5. Pu. Pakang Haokip, Chief of Henglep 15 years 6. Pu. Enjakhup Kholhou, Chief of Thenjol 15 year 7. Pu. Ngulkhup Haokip, Chief of Mombi (Lonpi) 15 years 8. Pu. Heljason Haokip, Chief of Loibol 15 years 9. Pu. Mangkho-on Haokip, Chief of Tingkai 15 years

10. 11. 12.

Pu. Leothang Haokip, Chief of Goboh Pu. Lunkholal Sitlhou, Chief of Chonjang Pu. Semchung Haokip, Chief of Ukha

15 years 15 years 15 years


The war of Anglo-Kuki of 1917-19 in Burma side also came to close. The Kuki Chiefs and leaders were detained in Homalin Jail and tortured. As leaders of the war, they were sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment at Taungyi Jail as follow: Sl. No. Name of Prisoner Period of detention 1. Pu Kamjahen Haokip, Chief of Phailengjang 15 years 2. Pu Letkhothang Haokip, Chief of Khotuh 15 year 3. Pu Semkholun Haokip, Chief of Phaisat 15 years 4. Pu Vumngul Kipgen, Chief of Tujang 15 years 5. Pu Haokhopao Haokip, Chief of Molvailup 15 years 6. Pu Tongkholun Haokip, Deputy Chief of 15 years Phailengjang 7. Pu Tukih Lupheng, Chief Tonglhang 15 years 8. Pu Sonkhopao Haokip, Chief of Twison 15 years 9. Pu Letjahao Chongloi, Chief of Khomunnom 15 years 10. Pu Kondem Baite, Chief of Sadih (Sachih) 15 years 11. Pu Jalhun Haokip, Chief of Molvom 15 years. WHO WAS THE HEAD THAT LED THE WAR There were some ambitious Chiefs of Sitlhou clan who earlier claimed that they are the head of the Thadou-Kuki clan. They falsely stated that the Doungel line has become extinct "ingam" and claimed that being next in lineage; the Chief of Jampi of Sitlhou clan should be recognized and declared as head of Thadou-Kuki clan. The Britishers made enquiries from all sources but did not find any evidence. They interrogated the captured and surrendered Chiefs asking them who the head and leader of the rebellion was. Every one of them stated that Chengjapao who was the Pipa of Thadou-Kuki clan was the supreme leader. However, to set the matter at rest beyond any doubt, the Britishers adopted a method whereby the issue is settled once for all publicly. Therefore, while they were still detained in Imphal Jail, to

ascertain whether the Kuki Raja, Chengjapao Doungel of Aisan was Pipa (Head of the Kukis), the British paraded him enchained in the streets of Imphal town three times a day for three consecutive days. As he was paraded, he was made to announce these words aloud, "He who among the Kukis is elder, let him come and take my place, take these chains off me, suffer in my stead and be bestowed with the honour that is mine". As no response to such an announcement came from any quarter, the political agent Mr. J.C. Higgins confirmed Chengjapao Doungel as the Head of Thadou-Kuki clan and leader among the Kukis. The charge sheet on him began with the above. In case of Khotinthang, Chief of Jampi, it is indicated in the charge sheet that he is the head of the Thadou clan and second in seniority. As observed by Maculloch, this emanated from the tradition "that Thadou-Kukis pay much attention to their genealogy and profess to know the names of their Chiefs in succession." The social structure is based on the order of precedence of lineal descents. They claim their pedigree right from the legendary ancestor called "Songthu" (some use Chongthu). According to the genealogical tree from Songthu, he begets Sattong and Shongja his younger brother. Sattong begets Thangpi (his two younger brothers are unknown). Thangpi begets Shingmeng and Hangmeng. Shingmeng begets Titou and Touhin. Titou is the progenitor of Doungels. There are ten generations from Titou to Doungel whose younger brothers are Haolai, Tuboi, Bolsom (Dimngel), Touthang, Kilong, Saum etc. Touhin is the progenitor of Thadou (Sitlhou) whose brothers and kin are Haokip, Kipgen, Singson, Chongloi, Hangshing etc. Titou begets Javong and his brother, Javong begets Mangtol, Mangtol begets Lhunthang, Lhunthang begets Thithang and his brother, Thithang begets Chonmang and his brother, Chonmang begets Thilhun, Thilhun begets Chalmang and his brother, Chalmang begets Sechang and his brother, and Sechang begets Doungel and his three brothers. Maculloch attempted to establish the genealogical tree of the Thadou-Kukis from Songthu to Doungels/Thadou in 1857 which broadly agreed with the accepted ones. The Doungels are descended from Thadou's elder brother and therefore, are considered superior to the others. We are confining to the descendent of Shingmeng and not discussing about others here. J.H. Hutton found the theory of extinction of male lineage of Doungels audacious and claim of seniority absolutely untenable as the same does not stand any logical scrutiny and appeared cooked up. The confusion arose because when Helkhup died, there was no worthy successor. A powerful lobby of the clan convinced the others that a more competent person has to take over as Chief of Aisan. So they brought Nguljam and his son Chengjapao who are the next in line, from Seitol village where they were living. Helkhup and his younger brother Manlhun are descended from Neingul and Nguljam from Haongul who were brothers. Their father was Songjakhai. Nguljam's son Chengjapao assumed Chiefship of Aisan after the death of his uncle Manlhun. Some people with vested intersest, wanting to slander the family alleged that he had usurped the Chiefship. Series of blackmail ultimately led to the allegation that they were slaves. This, though meant to be sarcastic observation resulted in creating confusion and that was how some ambitious people tried to take advantage of ignoring the factual position. That seniority of one clan cannot simply be replaced by the next clan even assuming that the single male line is 'ingam'. The others in the Doungel clan are still senior. That is why he recorded in footnote to Notes on Thadou-Kukis that even if the 'ingam theory' is assumed to be true, the younger brother of Doungel, that is Haolai clan would still be senior, not to speak of other surviving Doungels. Even more absurd contention is about a crude story that one entire Doungel village i.e. Tolthang (Lotjem) had been wiped out by rolling boulders with no survivors to slander them. This argument has no locus-standi and no takers but it somehow reached the British authorities. In order to put the matter beyond any doubt, Britishers made exercises which proved the claim false. Otherwise, it is a matter about which no one would have taken any notice of. The report of Hon'ble J.E. Webster, Chief Secretary to the Chief Commissioner, Assam to Secretary

Govt of India, Foreign and Political Dept of 27/06/1919 clearly indicated that "Chengjapao, Chief of Aisan who is Pipa or head of all Thadou-Kukis had sent orders to all Kuki Chiefs to resist recruiting of labour with force, if necessary." Having established that he was the supreme leader in the war of rebellion against the British government which was due to the immense influence he wielded as well as his lineage, they appeared to have decided that it is in the fitness of things to call him King or Rajah. It is to be taken that this is the respect British conquerors have shown to the vanquished foe i.e. Kukis as a whole by raising their status as also theirs. British Government Recorded as Below: 1. Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan, Head of Doungel Clan. 2. Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan, Head of Kukis. 3. Chnegjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan, PIHA (PIPA). 4. The bust of Chengjapao with inscription "King of Kukis" is on display in Calcutta Museum and Victoria Hall, Kolkata. THE SECOND TRIAL OF KUKI CHIEFS AND WAR COMMANDERS The Kuki rebellion was put down and World War I also ended. There was sympathy among British people and officers who felt that the Kukis were more sinned against than sinning. Their hegemony in Manipur Hills and elsewhere was completely taken away and most of their villages ravaged. There were reports in the national press in India expressing sympathy for Kukis. To cite few examples, "New India wrote on 28th February 1918 and quoting Pioneer said that the British justified the action of their men under the Union Jack in Chin Hills (and Kuki Hills) by saying that they were carrying the work of pacification satisfactorily. But whether they realize the horror of burning villages and their terrified women and children flying from their flaming houses, such is the work of Christian civilization." They strongly condemned ill treatment of French people by German conquerors and their liberated colonies in Africa. This is absolutely contrary to lofty statement, held out by prominent statesmen like Lyod George or President Wilson. They went to the extent that those colonies will even be allowed to choose their own form of government. But they are in no way better than the Germans by any standard. New India on 5th March, 1918 again wrote, "But certainly that is no excuse for treating them in such a cruel fashion. To destroy villages on such a systematic scale and to harass people until finding no other alternative before them, they surrender to any conditions of life that may be imposed upon them - are these practices to be tolerated by a civilized nation like England? We are confident that if the story should be revealed in all its tragic inhumanity to the British nation, the real nature of the Bureaucracy will be known in a single day." The Britishers perhaps feared that atrocities committed by burning of Kuki villages and herding them in concentration camps where they were engaged in forced labour etc. would leak out to outside world. They have seen that the backbone of the Kukis had been broken and their spirit crushed. They thought it wiser to take political and administrative steps to contain them. It was therefore decided that the Chiefs and leaders should be retried for political offences with leniency. Government of India letter 457-EB (Foreign and Political) of 02/09/1919 to Chief Secretary to Chief Commissioner, Assam. The Kuki Chiefs in Burma were shifted from Homalin Jail to Taungyji Jail and those in India were also imprisoned in Sodiya Jail in Assam. Later they were all shifted to cellular jail in the Andamans. After commutation of sentences of Kuki Chiefs in Sodiya, the terms were as follow : Sl. No. Name of Prisoner Period of detention

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Pu. Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan Pu. Lhukhomang Haokip alias Pache, Chief of Chahsat Pu. Tintong Haokip, Chief of Laijang Pu. Enjakhup Kholhou, Chief of Thenjang Pu. Khotinthang Sitlhou alias Kilkhong, Chief of Jampi Pu. Pakang Haokip, Chief of Henglep Pu. Heljason Haokip, Chief of Loibol Pu. Mangkho-on Haokip, Chief of Tingkai Pu. Ngulkhup Haokip, Chief of Mombi (Lonpi) Pu. Leothang Haokip, Chief of Goboh Pu. Lunkholal Sitlhou, Chief of Chonjang 3 years 3 years 3 years 3 years 3 years 3 years 3 years 3 years 3 years 4 years 3 years


Sl. No. Name of Prisoners Period of detention 1. Pu Kamjahen Haokip, Chief of Phailengjang 3 years 2. Pu Letkhothang Haokip, Chief of Khotuh 3 years 3. Pu Semkholun Haokip, Chief of Phaisat 3 years 4. Pu Vumngul Kipgen, Chief of Tujang 3 years 5. Pu Nangjapao Lupheng, Chief of Tonglhang 3 years 6. Pu Sonkhopao Haokip, Chief of Twison 3 years 7. Pu Haokhopao Haokip, Chief of Molvailup 3 years 8. Pu Letjahao Chongloi, Chief of Khomunnom 3 years 9. Pu Kondem Baite,

10. 11.

Chief of Sadih (Sachih) Pu Jalhun Haokip, Chief of Molvom Pu Tongkholun Haokip, Deputy Chief of Phailengjang

3 years 3 years 3 years

The punishment and torture meted out to the Kuki Chiefs and leaders in different jails in the first Kuki war of Independence remained evergreen in the memories of the Kukis.

The condition as laid down under regulation 111 of 1818 was signed by R.E. Hilland, Secretary to the Government of India Foreign Political Department dated December, 1919. The conditions under which the Kuki Chiefs were exiled were: 1. That they could not be detained in Jail and that their place of residence and movements be under close supervision of the Government at suitable localities that movements be limited within the prescribed radius without confinement, that their place of exile was selected at Sodiya being far away from Kuki country and that the climatic condition was cool and healthy at Sodiya on the North Bank of the Brahmaputra river which suited the Chiefs. 2. That they were entitled to acquire land as wished for cultivator in Sodiya and that their choice of land for habitation must in no case be beyond two miles from the political office of Sodiya. 3. That the British Imperial Government in England was convinced that it was possible to hold that the Kuki Chiefs were, "more sinned against than sinning" and therefore that a policy of clemency was both called for and justified. These are the background under which the Kuki Chiefs were exiled in Sodiya as political victims. They were later shifted to Andaman.

The Kukis had to wage an unequal war against the British between1917-1919. In the resolution regarding late Kuki rising, extract from the proceedings of the discussion with Chief Commissioner Assam, in the Political Dept No. 8856P of 27.09.1920 recorded that the Kuki war as a matter of fact was a serious problem, which shook the whole of North Eastern Frontier of India. The British officials themselves admitted that the war was the most serious problem to the authority in Assam. It is in the fitness of thing that expedition against the Kukis in 1917 - 19 was taken as a part of World War I. The British Government according to Col. Shakespeare in History of Assam Rifles also put the following on record. 1. 86 rebel villages were destroyed. 2. 112 rebel villages submitted. 3. 15 rebel villages were destroyed by the people. 4. 970 muskets were confiscated in Manipur rebel area and 600 in the South Chin Hills (Burma). The rebels also lost heavily not only in killed and wounded, but also in grain and cattle destroyed and confiscated. The official figures of guns confiscated do not show at least about 1000 guns destroyed by burning and these burnt together with houses.

Gallantry awards:

The following British gallantry awards were instituted at the end of the war. 1. C.I.E. 1 2. O.B.E. 1 3. A.I.D.S.M.S. 14 4. King's Police Medal 1 Of the British Assam Rifles the casualties were: 1. 1 Indian Officer killed in action. 2. 34 Riflemen killed in action. 3. 1 Indian officer wounded in action. 4. Of the transport followers, 7 were killed, 393 died of disease. On the Burma side the casualties were: 1. 1 British officer killed in action. 2. 38 sepoys killed in action. 3. 4 British officers wounded. 4. 319 sepoys wounded. A large number of followers also succumbed to disease. RELEASE OF THE CHIEFS FROM POLITICAL JAIL AND DETENTION OF CHENGJAPAO DOUNGEL After a long three years, all the Kuki leaders except the Kuki Chief (Pipa) Chengjapao Doungel was set free from Sodiya Jail. Chengajpao Doungel being the leader and (Mi-Upa), he was detained for another 1 (one) year of imprisonment. The great Kuki warriors and Chiefs finally went back home to their beloved people and villages where they were welcomed back with tears of joy. Chengjapao composed the following song : "Henkol Kaipin thimthu tamlel tauvinte Keija henkol jangkhen thih hija ham? Keija henkol jang khen thih hiponte. Lengtui cham chang cheng khao balou Lhanga Manglung kihei loulai hinte." Free translation: My fellow prisoners whose hands were shackled would now be free to talk as they in their village. My hand-cuff, is it made of strong steel? No, it is not. The rope - way for me to cross the river is not yet laid The British Lord is not yet done with me.

RELEASE OF CHENGJAPAO DOUNGEL AFTER 4 YEARS OF DETENTION Finally, Chengjapao Doungel was set free on completion of additional 1 (one) year term. The good news spread all over the land and the people turned out in a great number at Kohima District HQ of Naga Hills and Imphal HQ of Manipur.

In 1923, the British Government of India informed that Chengjapao Doungel, the Head of the Chiefs (PIPA) be released and accordingly information was sent to all concerned. Chengjapao was brought to Kohima first where many Chiefs and leaders came and met him there. On behalf of the Kukis, Pu Haojakhup Chongloi, Chief of Jangnoi welcomed and capped him with SATELDEL cloth as a sign of respect and love. He said to him, "We are thankful for your good health and return to your native land safe and sound". Chengjapao then replied, "Dear Pakhup (Haojakhup), I am delighted to come once again victoriously. May God bless and multiply your descendents and may your village continue to prosper in the days to come". From Kohima town Chengjapao Doungel was escorted by Government scouts along with many Kuki Chiefs to Imphal town. There he was welcomed by thousands of people who clothed him with Saipikhup and capped him with Tuhpah and out of joy he composed the following song. "Kache langin Jang huivan ka maovin Ka hung langin pigo nun nelkaiji, Tonglam eidot namtin pibang kimna Laija bulve ge bang in kaneme". Free Translation: When I was leaving my village, I was overwhelmed with sadness. On my return to my village waving All my people awaited me like bamboos in the grove. All the people there to welcome me. In my joy I felt as light as the fluttering feathers of Vakul (a type of bird). Chengjapao Doungel, Chief of Aisan was overwhelmed with joy and managed to forget all the hardship and lonely years during his political exile. He was taken on a palanquin by his people accompanied by the Heads of other clan members. He reached Aisan village to a resounding welcome by his beloved people. On arrival at his village, Pu Chengjapao Doungel composed a song. "Namtin Khelin Kumkho sot hen kalkai jing Lalna gamlei muna Thonglhung kitne. Pupa jilsa kalen chom solang nguisa, Solna gamleo gamva jing thou kit hen." Free translation: I was imprisoned unlike the other for a long time I have now come back to my own land. The drums made by my forefathers remained silent so long. May the joy of life return to land again,

And may the birds sing once again. THE REASONS FOR DEFEAT OF THE KUKIS IN KUKI REBELLION 1. 2. 3. 4. The mighty combined forces of the British India and the British Burma were too strong for the countable Kuki Tribals who settled in villages in the hilly regions. The Kuki villages in comparison to their British counterparts were not well equipped with weapons for war, which was also another main cause of their defeat. The war was fought in Kuki soil. Another unfortunate reason was that some of the Kukis who had been converted to Christianity sided with the Britishers against their own fellow Kukis, thus reducing the strength of the Kuki forces in a major way. There were also cases of some self seeking Kuki traitors who acted as secret informers for the British forces, thus, revealing important secret of war plans etc. of the Kukis.


The major advantage for the British was that they received uninterrupted supply of rations during the war whereas the Kukis had to depend solely on the produce of their yearly agricultural land. When the war extended beyond two cropping seasons, the Kukis ran short of food grains which affected them to a major extent. The defeat of the Kukis in the hands of the mighty Britishers mainly terminated their superiority among the Hill tribes. After the war, the economic position of the Kukis reached the lowest watermark. Thus, the above reasons are responsible for the defeat of the Kukis.

1. The war by the Kukis against the British continued for three consecutive years which was stated to have started from the month of March, 1917 and ended on 20th of May, 1919. The aftermath of the war was too severe that it affected different parts in major degrees. This war claimed many lives and left many homeless. Most of the villages were burnt to ashes; living livestock were killed, crop fields were destroyed and everything which was needed for a normal livelihood was just not the same again. 2. The land dominated by the Kukis was mainly divided into two parts – the Northern and Southern part. The Northern part was under the rule of the British India whereas the Southern part was under the rule of the British Burma. The Western part which is now under the Manipur state was divided into three sub-divisions. Those sub-divisions came to be later known as Ukhrul instead of Chasad, Tamenglong instead of Laijang and Churachandpur instead of Lamka. The Eastern dominated area of Kuki came to be known as Tamu and Homalin under the Sagaing division of Burma. According to Dr. T. Gangte, the Britishers intended to contain any further rebellion of Kukis and also create situation for Naga domination of Tamenglong and Ukhrul. 3. The Gun which was a symbol of pride for a Kuki man and whoever owned one was regarded very high in the Kuki society. During the war, whatever gun found available were confiscated which had deep effect on the pride and moral of the Kukis. 4. Due to three continuous years of the war that led to the disruption of the Jhum cultivation which

was their means of livelihood, people faced multiple problems. There occurred famine in the areas, which were once lush green fields. Even after the war, there were continuous raids on the villages by British forces searching for guns. People lived in fear and could not cultivate in fields which led to total scarcity of food. As a result, people had to subsist on whatever edible things found in the forest like raw tapioca, leaves and fruits for their survival. 5. The concentration camps in which the Kukis were held captive were in an unhygienic condition and due to that it led to the epidemic outbreak of diseases like malaria, cholera, small pox etc. resulting in the death of many Kuki inmates of the camp. 6. The British soldiers raided the big and main villages of the Kukis in successive manner. This finally resulted in the disintegration of all the big settlements into smaller, weaker and scattered villages. The policy adopted by British India is still continued till today by encouraging small settlements. Chengjapao himself and his brother Thongngam were hunted and constantly harassed that they could not properly look after the affairs of their village resulting in sharp decline of their powers. 7. The British policy of "Divide and Rule" led to the division of the main Kuki dominant areas between the two sovereign countries of India and Burma. Further, as there was no recognized independent state of the Kukis those days, their territory was divided into different administrative units. As they lost control of most of their territories, they have been reduced to weak people without much political organization. Many innocent Kukis including the womenfolk and children who were captured and put in various concentration camps were subjected to inhuman treatments. They were mostly used as labour force. The road of Manipur connecting Imphal to Tamu, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Churachandpur measuring about 5000 kms or so in total was constructed by innocent Kuki inmates of the concentration camps who worked like slaves and were not paid any wages for their hard labour. So, the plight of the Kukis in those days was very bad as told by old aged people. The inhuman treatment meted out to them remains unforgettable. Defeat in war shattered their society and economy which brought demoralization in every way. New equations came up within the society. Those considered betrayers and ought to have been charged with treason emerged as powerful persons and having the upper hand in shaping things. Self seeking leaders devoid of any vision came to abound. Even Kuki identity was at stake because there was no more pride in being a Kuki and the society was sickeningly mired in stagnation. The government authorities as well as neighboring tribes ignored and belittled them. Many of those under their umbrella looked for new political moorings while others asserted themselves with hostile attitudes. Many Nagas of Manipur not only distorted historical facts but also maligned them in every way. An identity crisis made unity at stake. They find adaptation to transition to democracy from feudal chieftainship more difficult. Even Indian leaders, seeing them in the present miserable conditions cannot visualize that once they were proud people who sacrificed so much towards India's freedom. They have greater inclination to patronize the Nagas. There no longer exists a cohesive agency in the vacuum as the released Chiefs were rendered powerless and the others who sided with the British could not rise to be social leaders. THE DEATH OF CHENGJAPAO DOUNGEL Pu Chengjapao Doungel was born on 4th March, 1868 and died on 28th August, 1928. He

spent his life in governing and working for the welfare of his people (Kukis). He fought the mighty British Government on whose empire it was said the sun never set for almost three years 1917-19. After his surrender, which also brought the war to an end, he was sent on a long political exile in Sodiya, Tinsukia district of Assam for long 4 (four) years during the prime period of his life. While returning home after completion of his term from political exile, everything was changed in his Chiefdom, such as the names of districts, sub-divisions and the name of the headquarters. The morale of the people was quite different from the past. Thousands of his people working as Government labourers were half starved as they could not make both ends meet with the meager payments they received. There was no leader to defend the Kukis who were reduced as labourers or speak on their behalf before the British. The ill treatment and the policy of deliberate discrimination weakened chieftainship which was beset with trials and affliction. His attempt to protect the sovereignty of the Kukis in the territory inhabited by them over which he was accepted as the head and the war against the colonial rulers took a heavy toll on his health that his life was cut short and he died an early death at the age of 60 (sixty) years. Though he was defeated in the war, his indomitable spirit was however never subdued. The song composed by him expressed that his spirit is still undefeated. Song : "Thampi Khula ka pen nin Luncha hing, Ka chunga cheah um nao vai mo, Ka chunga chela mi um sampontin, Chung toni le chung chollha bou chente." Free translation: I was great the day I descended from mythical world. Is there anybody walking above me? Except the sun and the moon, nobody will walk above me.

Pu Chengjapao Doungel's death occurred on a rainy day of August, 1928 at his native village, Aisan. On his demise his kinsmen and the village elders and the Chiefs of the neighboring villages took a decision to bury the Chief in a grand manner according to the customs of his ancestors. So, his dead body was kept in a SANG (Sang is similar to an arm-chair specially made for placing the dead body, lying in stake). After a few days when all the formality of death rites have been completed, the dead body was kept in a special strong wooden box as per customary rites and his decomposed body was placed on the KEMCHUNG (Machang) in the outskirts of the village. It was kept strictly under the control of Tucha and Becha of the village who were under the overall supervision of the village Chief's council. As long as the body was kept on the Kemchung, the elders of the village and the youth kept the fire burning under the Machang to prevent the body from being destroyed by cruel birds and animals. After the decomposed body dried and became shrunk to a mere skeleton, it was brought back home and put it in LANG (Lang is like a bed). During these long periods of drying up the decomposed body, the formal death rites were performed such as LHANSADEL (Lhansadel means hunting of wild animals and birds with gun or by setting traps in the jungle). The slaughtered animals and birds were brought to the house of Chengjapao. This act symbolized the homage and respect they showed to their Chief. It was also believed that in MITHIKHO (the realm of death), people would respect the Chief as he was accompanied by many heads of birds, a symbol of his valour and strength. In this way, the skull of animals and heads of

birds and the feathers were arranged in a line and hung over the grave. It was called SALENGVUI and VALENGVUI. No efforts were spared to give Chengjapao Doungel a glorious tribute even in death. Before the skeleton of the Chief was buried, it was kept in a Lang. As traditional customary rites were performed, glorious songs of Doungel (Doungel Lapi) was sung. The skeleton on the Lang was lifted up and down by the people standing on all sides of the Lang. Continuous singing and dancing took place; when the singing stopped, the dancing would also stop. In this way, the customary tribute to the great Chieftain lasted for seven days and seven nights. When all the traditional and customary death rites were completed, his dead body was kept in KHUNSUM (Khunsum is a special bed made of plank). The body of the great Chief was then laid down to rest by placing it inside the tomb and buried in a befitting manner according to the burial rites of his great ancestors. IN MEMORY OF KUKI RAJA CHENGJAPAO DOUNGEL The Kuki rebellion against the British India 1917-1919 was headed by Pu Chengjapao Doungel Chief of Aisan and (Mi-Upa), the senior most man of the Kukis. After his surrender to the British forces, he was kept in a Jail. When his trial ended, he along with his fellow-chiefs and war commanders were deported to Sodiya Island in Upper Assam for 3 years term. With the completion of their 3 (three) years term, all the other Chiefs and war commanders were released from Jail. But Chengjapao Doungel being the leader of the Kukis and also Mi-Upa, the severest of torture and an additional one year term was meted out to him. Pu Chengjapao Doungel who fought fearlessly against British India for independence of the Kukis and the whole of India from the hand of the British remains vivid in the memory of the Kukis. 1. The portraits of Chengjapao Doungel with the inscription "King of Kukis" are displayed at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hall and Calcutta Museum, Kolkata which were established by the erstwhile British Government. 2. The same portraits are also kept at British Museum in London. 3. After India gained Independence, the Government in recognition of the bravery shown by the Kuki heroes and in memory of the war they fought sanctioned some money for the construction of the "KUKI INN" which today stands in the heart of the Imphal town, Manipur. 4. Chengjapao Doungel Memorial High School was Hills, Manipur. established at Molkon village, Sadar

5. A memorial statue of Chengjapao Doungel as the Kuki King was erected at Moreh town in a Kuki dominated area of Manipur on 27th August, 1997. 6. Chengjapao Doungel Kuki Raja Playground is constructed at Haijang village, Singat Subdivision, Churachandpur in 2001. 7. Chengjapao Doungel Kuki Raja Foundation is established in 2009.

In Assam, North Cachar District, Sri G.C. Langthasa, Hon'ble Minister of Assam, who spearheaded the N.C. Hills District Council politics for more than 45 (forty five) years or so, has good knowledges about the tribes of N.C. Hills and who is well versed with the history of the tribal people of N.C. Hills, Assam in his Independence Day speech of 2004 announced that "Late Chengjapao Doungel was one of the freedom fighters of N.C. Hills, so his name will be remembered with full honour forever in the history of North Cachar Hills (Assam) too." In recognition of Kuki rebellion led by him against British Government, Assam Government declared Pu Chengjapao Doungel an Indian Freedom Fighter. Source: Thangkhongul Doungel

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