Saturday, June 15, 2024

Matmur Jamoh: Warrior of Arunachal

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This is the untold story of an Arunachal Pradesh warrior whose identity is only known to a few. Matmur Jamohreceived the harshest punishment in Kalapani because he opposed the British invasion of his beautiful hill state.

Who are Adi Tribesmen?  

Adi tribesmen live in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh’s East Siang district, at the eastern foothills of the Himalayas. It is the oldest town in the northeastern state. Despite its ancient origins, the British established Pasighat as a colonial outpost in 1911 as a gateway to the greater Abor hills and northern Arunachal Pradesh. The Donyi-Polo religion, an indigenous faith, is practised by the Adi tribes. Donyi is the Sun, and Polo is the Moon. They call themselves Donyi O, Polo Ome ,meaning children of the sun and the moon or children of truth. Matmur Jamoh was a warrior from the Adi tribe. He was the Kebang Abu, the village chief of Yangrung, where he was born.

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Interference of the British

The British used local tribesmen as porters and collected ration supplies for themselves without paying them much.Furthermore, they frequently interfered with the freedom of the Adi tribesmen and humiliated them.

(p.c.-kanglaonline)

This is the untold story of an Arunachal Pradesh warrior whose identity is only known to a few. Matmur jamohreceived the harshest punishment in Kalapani because he opposed the British invasion of Arunachal Pradesh.

So that people could travel more easily, the British hired Adipeople to clear the paths. They also made them carry heavy loads and carry food. They tried to show that they were better than the Adis. Matmur Jamoh did not like how the British treated his tribe’s people in this way. In Pasighat, there were more than ten villages. This group got to Rottung in Pasighaton March 18, 1911, and stayed there for the night. During the night, the group lost some of their food. Neol Williamson told the villagers that they had to bring the guilty people to him until he got back. The next day, the group walked up to the village of Pangi and stayed there until the porters arrived. The Adis were angry that the British captain had the nerve to threaten them in their own land. Willamson continued marching to Yangrung on March 30, leaving Dr. Gregorsonand three coolies at the camp in Pangi. Willamson and his men set up camp in Yangrung at Komsing.

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Matmur challenged the Colonisers

Matmur Jamoh put together a group of village leaders to talk about how to stop the British from moving deeper into Aditerritory. They made plans to kill all of the British people and their men on the expedition, and they also thought of ways to stop British people from going to the Adi hills in the future.

Matmur Jamoh, led by a handful of Adi warriors, attacked Williamson’s camp the following day, on March 31, at 10:00 a.m., and slaughtered everyone inside. Following MatmurJamoh’s orders, another group of Adi tribesmen went to Pangicamp and killed Dr. Gregorson and his group. Only a few escaped to inform the British post in Sadiya about the assassination.

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(p.c.- northeasttoday.in)

British could not bear this and on 18th December their army reached Yangrung village and then started to set fire in the nearby village. British tried to coax local people to help catch Matmur Jamoh. But the Adis were not in a mood to surrender, they retaliated like a true warrior tribe. But this destruction and advance tactics of British and months long fight came to an end. When, for the welfare of their future generations Matmur Jamoh surrendered.

This group of freedom fighters was sent to the hellish Cellular Jail, and we never could find any evidence of Matmur Jamohlater. No records of Matmur could be found in Cellular Jail records. A great brave warrior had to die in obscurity.

 

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References

Saffron Swords, Manoshi Sinha Rawal

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