Kuki rebellion hero remembered

Published on January 10, 2013

Imphal, Jan 9: The Kukis today remembered their hero Khotinthang Sitlhou who led the Thadou chiefs and declared war against the mighty British to defend and preserve Manipur’s sovereignty popularly known as the Kuki Rebellion.

In commemoration of his leadership and sacrifice for the cause of the land, a memorial celebration was held at Taloulong village in Senapati district amid presence of ministers including Deputy CM Gaikhangam, legislators and Kuki leaders.

Khotinthang Sitlhou alias Kilkhoung Sitlhou, on behalf of all the Thadou (Kuki) chiefs, declared war on the British imperialists on March 17, 1917 for the preservation of freedom and independence of Manipur.

He was arrested along with the other leading Thadou chiefs and imprisoned at Sadiya in Assam and at the cellular jail in Andaman and Nicober Island.

Organized by Kilkhoung Memorial Celebration Committee, a monument as well as his statue was unveiled. The Thadou war ( Kuki rebellion) lasted for three years from 1917 to 1919 during which 4900 people including civilians were killed and 10300 villages razed to ashes, said Thadou elders.

They said the war was declared closed on May 20, 1919 by Lt Gen HDU Henry Keary.

Though the war lasted for only three years, it produced far reaching consequences in the history of Manipur and the most significant outcome of it was the overall administrative reform in the hill areas, they said.

Expounding, they said that then Chief Commissioner of Assam Nicolas Dodd Beatson Bell had in October 1919 declared the decision of the Indian government to introduce the scheme promulgated for better administration in the hill areas of Manipur.

Under it, the hill areas were divided into three subdivisions and the administration of the land was put under the charge of European sub-divisional officer who was directly accountable to the president of the Durbar.

The dignitaries, who attended Tuesday’s historic memorial celebration categorically praised Sitlhou’s heroic leadership he took for the cause of the state.

Besides offering floral tributes of the hero’s statue, the gathering also witnessed a spectrum of Kuki cultural dances.

Source: Sangai Express

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