Sambhudhan Phonglo- freedom fighter not much known | History | Nelive

Sambhudhan Phonglo- freedom fighter not much known

Sep 27, 2015 16:00
Dima Hasao
Sambhudhan Phonglo- freedom fighter not much known

Sambhudhan Phonglo was born in 1850 in the small village of Longkhor, at Maibang in the Dima Hasao District (previously known as North Cachar Hills). His father was Deprondao Phonglo and mother Khasaidi, Sambhudhan was the eldest among the five sons. The exact date of his birth is not known but it is believed that, Sambhudhan was born at dawn on the Falgun Purnima of Indian calendar. He spent his childhood at Longkhor but soon then mover over to Gunjung. Thereafter he started shifted from one place to another namely; Saupra a small village near Nanadisa, then to Semdikhor near Mahur. 

In the year 1832, the British annexed Southern Cachar and the Northern Cachar was annexed by the British in 1854 on the death of Tula Ram. But the British acted very treacherously after the annexation of these territories. They did not tag the Northern Cachar with South Cachar, but unscrupulously annexed the territory to the district of Nagaon. The territory was then placed under the charge of a Junior Political Officer with headquarters at Asalu. Subsequently, in 1866, this territory had been sliced away and distributed among the neighbouring district of Nagaon and Naga Hills. Thus, while parts of the Diyung Valley and the Kopili Valley had been given to the district of Nagaon, a large portion was joined with the newly created district of Naga Hills. The rest formed the territory of the North Cachar Hills comprising exclusively the hilly region. 

Sambhudhan Phonglo was not happy with the divide and rule policy of the British, which was intended to weaken the native people. He pondered over the matter and soon decided to rebel.. He resolved to prepare for a last-ditch battle. Sambhudhan toured extensively in the North Cachar Hills for mass contact and organisation. He succeeded in inspiring the villagers to raise their voice against the British. He was able to recruit a large number of youths to form revolutionary force. He selected two followers whom he trusted a lot namely - Man Singh and Molongthong, also appointed Man Singh as Principal Adviser and Molongthong as Subordinate Commander under him. 

When he found that he had succeeded in enrolling sufficient number of youths, he decided to impart them training in batches at a selected place. Sambhudhan selected Maibang for training his troops. 

The increasing activities of Sambhudhan caused a great concern for the British Government. When the matter was reported, the British authorities advised the Sub-Divisional Officer stationed at Gunjung to deal with firm hands on the charge of revolting against the legally established government. As advised, the Sub-Divisional Officer issued summons to Sambhudhan and his subordinates Man Singh and Molongthong, but they did not care to appear before the British officials. On further advice from the Deputy Commissioner, a warrant of arrest was issued by the Sub-Divisional Officer; also dispatched a troop under a police officer for apprehension of the rebels. 

The Sub-Divisional Officer had, however, made a mistake by sending a small contingent of six armed constables under a police officer. After arrival at Maibang the troop was bewildered to see the size and strength Sambhudhan had acquired. 

He organised his own army by extensively traveling in the erstwhile kingdom. He was expert in guerrilla warfare and was widely revered among the Dimasas and other tribes alike. The British headquarter in Gunjung was completely annihilated by him and he was known to be so strong that he slaughtered two horses of the British at one go. Consequently the news of his growing threat became a headache for the British Empire. The British bribed a woman who befriended his wife and on one such visit to his home, he was surrounded by the British army. The women had taken away his “machete” as has been ordered by them in his absence. He had to cut through the army with one of a rusty “machete” placed as stand for cooking purpose. He was eventually hunted down by the British in the deep jungle. And he was killed as a result of wound inflicted by “khokri” thrown by a Nepali army and died subsequently. 

The exact date of his death is mentioned nowhere but the stories of valour are still told by the old people in the villages. He is considered a symbol of pride, patriotism and unity.

Sep 27, 2015 16:00
Dima Hasao

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About Author

Anwesha Roy Choudhury    Ranchi, Jharkhand
Anwesha Roy Choudhury is a Masters in Mass Communication & Journalism from Tezpur Central University, Assam. Over the years as a development professional, she had firsthand experience in managing communication channels and taking active part in developing creative contents. Currently based in Jharkhand. Worked as documentation officer in Citizens Foundation and now Director of Health Initiatives, Resource India trying to bring out the positive change in health sector. 
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