A Glimpse of Tai Khampti. At Sadiya. By:- Chow Uppa Mansai

 

AT SADIYA

    In 1795, a fresh conflict took place during the reign of king Kamaleswar Singha, the Khamptee Burha Raja advances with a strong army towards Rangpur and abattle fought at Nibuk on the northern bank of Brahmaputra or Luit. The Khamptee were defeated and brought to Jorhat as a captives. In the said Nibuk battle the Burha Raja, the Naras, the Phakials, the Miris, the Mishimis, the Muloks, and the Abors etc. Made a ferocious attacked but defeated by Ahum; The Khamptees lost the Sadiya-Khowa ship and one Barir Putek i.e. Son of a widow was placed as Sadeeya-Khowa Gohai, who happened to be nephew of Shri Purnananda Buragohain. (But in the Khamptees history, it was that the Burha Raja moved towards Sadeeya was not an intention to venture Rangpur but to enquire and to meet theirs ancestors, who happened to be together at Mong-Kong. But the Ahum king thought of differents way and capture the Burha Raja and took away as captives. The Deka Raja and Chau-Moung-Ngon-Long followed in searched of Chief to sadeeya. The Deka Raja later came to know that the Burha Raja was being caught by the Ahum king and took him to Jorhat as a captives. The news arrogated Deka Raja and in exchange, he killed the Sadeeya Khowa Gohain of Ahum at Sadeeya in 1793 and declared Chau-Pha-Mong-Ngin-Long as Sadeeya-Khowa-Gohain).

     However, the Khamptees able to reoccupied the Sadeeya in alliances with the Singphoos in 1801. In the mean times, the first Burmese invasion took place in 1816-17. The Burmese attacked Jorhat and ordered them to go back to Putao or Moung-Khampti-Long, in Burma. The Khamptees left Jorhat but they did not obeyed the order and went back to Sadeeya and remained in Sadeeya tracts. After the third Burmese invasion in 1824, when Devid Scott, the Governor General visited the Sadeeya, he found the entire region was completely under the Khamptees occupation. The Khamptee helped the British in suppressing the Singphoo's revolt in the region, and for which David Scott and Captain Neufville, highly appreciated to the Khamptee chief and recognized, Chau-Salan-Gohain (Chautang) as Sadeeya-Khowa-Gohain and allowed him to collect poll-taxes from non Khamptee people in the region in 1824 A.D. Chou-Salan-Gohain, instead of paying taxes, undertook to maintain a militia of 200 Khamptees, armed by the British. David Scott, was very much impressed at the leadership of the Khamptee chief and thus he comments and urged upon the government that "In any arrangement made for handling over upper Assam to a native princes, the Country or region inhabited by the Khamptee should, with that of Mattack, by kept apart".

     In 1835, the Khamptee chief, Chau-Salan-Gohain died and Chau-Rang-Pha, alies Ranuwa Gohain succeeded the Sadeeya-Khowa Gohainship. In the mean time, a group of 230 Khamptees arrived from Mounglang of Mung-Khamptee-Long and joint their brethren. In 1835, incidentally a dispute arose in between the Khamptee Chief Chau-Rang-Pha, the then Sadeeya-Khowa-Gohain and the Bor-Senapati of Matakas, over the region of Chukowa, present Saikhowa. The dispute turn into a battle. The British officer incharge of Sadeeya, Colonel Adam white, proposed a compromised, to settle the matters amicably and asked both the chiefs to submit their respective claims over the region. The Khamptee Chief Chau-Rang-Pha, alies Ranuwa Gohain in defiance of the proposer of the British Political Agent, Colonel Adam White, at Sadeeya, forcibly occupied the Saikhowa region. The British officer took the matters seriously and removed Chou-Rang-Pha, from the Sadeeya-Khowa Gohainship and sent him to Guwahaty to keep him interned. Thus Sadeeya came under direct British administration. The Khamptee Chief lost the right of realizing taxes from non-Khamptee people in the Sadeeya region. But they were allowed to live under their own Chieftain with limited powers to control internal affairs. In 1836, the Khamptee helped the British with men and materials to suppress the Singphoo's revolt, and accordingly succeeded the mission. The British authority was highly appreciated and fully satisfied with the services rendered by the Khamptees and in turn, the British permitted the Khamptee chief, Chou-Rang-Pha to return back to Sadeeya at his own arrangement from Guwahaty. Chou-Rang-Pha or Ranuwa Gohain returned to Sadeeya, but he did not get the status as possessed formerly. These very attitudes of the Britishers towards the Khamptee's chief, the Ranuwa Gohain, greatly resented not only of Khamptees but also all native inhabitants of Sadeeya region. Since then, Chau-Pha Kon-Moung bearup a revolutionary mind and held a secrete deliberation with Khampte chiefs and other influential leaders of other communities to orgainze war against the growing British raj in the area.

     At last, in 1839, on 19th January, the British officer in-charge Colonel Adam White, held a durbar in their camp at Sadeeya and all Khamptee chiefs, along with other native tribal chiefs were invited to the durbar, with utmost hospitality and polite.

     The Khamptee chiefs are also equally showing cordial appearance at the party. Accordingly the programmed was running smoothly in the day time, but at night a body of 600 Khamptees and also others native tribes like Miris, Deories, Kacharies, Mishimies, the Naras and the Abors etc. under the leadership of Chau-Pha-Planglu or Ranuwa Gohain attacked the military out post of the British from the four direction and killed the Colonel Adam White with spear, which he was running away from his camp and other eighty British soldiers on the spot.

       The attacked was well planed that they were divided into four groups, started to attack from all directions and set fire to the houses of officer, soldiers camps, granaries houses, and artillery house of Assam light infantry in their line and started cutting and killing with their short daos, spears whatever found on their way Sadeeya came completely at calm and quite, at the mercy of Khamptees. The planning of the revolt was led and master minded by Chau-Pha-Planglu or Ranuwa Gohain, Chou-Toa-Gohain, Kaptan Gohain and accompanied by Chau-King Gohain, Chou-Lik Gohain, the first and second sons of Chau-Pha-Planglu Gohain respectively.

     At the first instance, the Khamptees were winner, but instead of taking possession of Sadeeya, Chau-Toa Gohain and Kaptan Gohain retreated towards Debang valley and Chau-King Gohain and Chou-Lik both deserted their villages and took refused in the Singpho-Mishimi area. Having obeserved, the movement of the Khamptees chiefs in retreating and deserting the villages, the British authority started to counter attack on Khamptee with the Assam light infantry, setting fire on Khamptee houses and granaries. The newly deported Assam light infantry at Sadeeya supported to the British authority by the native tribal chiefs in the north east India for an indipendent. Had the Asssam light infantry not been deported at Sadeeya, the out came would have been difference and Sadeeya could become an independent state of the Khamptee and others native tribe as well. Considering the position of the British, A Mackenzie says thus "Had the Khamptee chiefs now shown resolution equal to their skill in combination, they might have done serious damage to our position on this frontier". This defeat was a historical blundered being done by the Khamptee chiefs. Later the British soldiers could able to arrest Chau-Pha-Planglu and kept him in prison at Sadeeya but he managed to escape along with his brother in-low, Chou-In-Ce-Mang from the prison after killing the guard of the magazine. While on fight, his brother in-low got bullet injury and Chau-Pha-Planglu took his brother in-low on his back and jumped on the wall of the prison. Unfortunately, Chau-Pha-Planglu fell down on the deep ditches and broke one of his thigh, but he could some how managed to took shelter in the jungle after crossing the kundir river.

     After a few days in the jungle, one morning, he came out with wounded foot to nearby river to wash his face. He was noticed by some fishermen i.e. Dums, while washing his face with royal warror dress. The greedy dums, spare no times, immediately reported to the British Sahib at Sadeeya in exchange of good rewards. Accordingly on 28th Janurary, 1839 an expedition was led against Chou-Pha-Planglu or Chau-Pha-Kan-Moung at the jungle of kundir river and was surrounded in his abode from all sides. The Khamptee chef, Chau Kan-Moung was incapable of moving, out of his wounded foot and he preferred to die as a hero. So he put off his armlet i.e. "Akaa Lakpoi" which was believed to have magic power, that have been protected him from all sort of dangers. Chau-Pha-Kan-Moung then asked the British officer in-charge to bring a "Pan" leafs from near by house, and asked to be shot by the officer himself. He then set himself in a yogic posture, started reciting religion sermons. Accordingly, he was shot by the officer in-charge and thus followed by the soldiers. Amazingly, the body of Chau-Pha-Kon-Moung had not fell down despite of severally shots. The British soldiers did not have the courage to go near the body and so, they brought a long Bamboo post and pushed to his body and simultaneously fell down. Chau Pha-Planglu was son of Chai Ai-Long, whom the Fra-Taka adopted.

    The death of Chau Pha-Kan-Moung was followed by the rule of tyranny of the British on the Khamptee people living in Sadeeya and neighboring areas.

    Many innocent Khamptees were caught and subjected to ruthless torture. Most of them were summary been tired and were either deported into the prison or fined. Arising Khamptees in the south of the Brahmaputra were also put down or suppressed by the troops. The Singphoo, Mattakas, Abors and other Shans were offered their helped to the Britishers in punishing the insurgents Khamptees. The Khamptees had no friends among those they had so long been controlled and lived together. From 1839 to 1843, the Khamptees were passed in a very hard days. The British Soldiers and the Assam light infantry burnt down the Khamptee villages and killed their domestic animals. They purposefully destroyed the granaries and paddy. Vigorous searched of Khamptees were conducted in the jangle to capture the Khamptee's leaders. At last they were able to capture the second son of Ranuwa Gohain named Chau Lik, who did turn up to surrender and to disclose where about of their families and Khamptees. Ultimately Chau Lik was murdered by putting and tighten in the "Fein" (Cotton sorting machine) at Sadeeya and then brutally crushed.

      After that, the British troop, with the helped of Singphoo and Matakas, cought Chau Keing Gohain, the eldest son of Chau Pha-Kan Moung or Ranuwa Gohain and he surrendered under circumstances. That was the first batch of the Khamptee, to come out from the jangle to surrender. Chau Keing Gohain along with his two hundred followers were dispatched from Sadeeya to down stream of Brahmaputra Taap Chee-Pu i.e, present Dibrugarh Town. Gradually the Khamptees established their colony at Chau Kei-Ting, the present Chow-Ki-Ding at Dibrugarh and Jakai areas almost seven miles from Dibrugarh. As the area was possessed by the Khamptee Chief, Chau Kie-Tong Gohain, it was named Chau-Kei-Ding. There are six Khamptee villages, Chow-Kei-Ting, Mankata, Cessa, Jakai, Khamptees Ghat, besides the villages of Chongkham pathar on the bank of river Dibru. Soon after the dispatchment of Chau Keitong Gohain to Dibru area, about 900 Khamptees laid down their arms and surrendered, which was led by two Rajas (King) i.e. Chau Thun Gohain alias Sissi Raja and Chau La Gohain, alias Bhadiya Raja. Chau Thun Gohain along with the 400 followers sent to Dhemaji on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra. He was popularly known as Sissi Raja, as he was settled on the bank of Sissi river, about six mile away from Dhemaji. He was childless and cousin of the Sadeeya Khowa Gohain. After the death of Chau Thun Gohain, the Khamptees under him became a chief less or leaderless. As a resulted, some of the Khamptees migrated from Sissi to Narayanpur and Sadeeya to live with their brethren, a small numbers of the Khamptees merged with that of local peoples viz. Miris, Assamese etc. And subsequently lost their own identity.

    The second division under the Chieftainship of Chau La Gohain, son of Ex.Sadeeya-Khowa-Gohain, settled at Narayanpur in the western part of the present Lakhimpur district, Assam. Chau La Gohain was educated in English school at Sibsagar. He married a girl named Luthuri Aideu, from a royal Ahum family. The Namsoum family at Narayonpur are still maintain their relationship with royal Ahum family by marrying Konwar girls and vice versa. They belong to the Namsoum clan of famous Long-King dynasty of the Khamptee, and had been appointed as Mouzader to the Bangfang Mouza by the British Government in India, which was now bifurcated into five different mouzas, viz. Laluk, Dharpur, Kherajkhat, Kasikata, Narayanpur.

      Chau Toa Gohain and Chau Kaptan Gohain both were chased by the British expedition group in Mishmi hill and compelled them to surrender. Chou Kaptan Gohain was also cousin of late Sadeeya Khowa Gohain. He established a Khamptee colony at Sunpura, a short distance from earlier Sadeeya. After a decade long settlement, the Khamptees of Sunpura migrated towards Tenga-Pani. In 1843, Chau Keing Gohain, Chau Tao Gohain and Chau Kaptan Gohain, sent a petition to conclude a treaty and asked permission to the British authority to return back Sadeeya and place themselves under the protection of the British Raja. Accordingly, the Khamptees were allowed to return back with theirs families and to settle down in the vally of river Tenga-Pani, Kamlang, Noa-Dihing, Dirack and Sunpura area. In this treaty, the Khamptee were obtained the right of internal administration. The letters of the treaty were engroved on the wall of the stone casket in such a way that, when the lid of the casket was opened, the letters used to get disfigure. After this treaty, the Khamptee lived in a peaceful life and benevolent to the British authority in Sadeeya region. Since then the Khamptee became the true friend of the British and helped them in various expeditions.