The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton tour diaries in the Naga Hills

caption: Opium shop and smuggling at Dimapur; Marwari traders - cane, cotton, agar and rice; removal of 500 rifles from Kohima for use against tea-garden coolies
medium: tours
person: Gupteswar
ethnicgroup: KukiMikir
location: Dimapur Kohima
date: 30.9.1920
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 31.8.1920-7.10.1920
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 30th
text: Inspected the kit at Dimapur. Thana Kuki and Mikir constables have exceptional propensities for wearing out clothes.
text: Disposed of the opium shop which I have settled with one Gupteswar who seems less likely than the other applicants to put the shop to illicit purposes. He will be rationed at present with 30 seers of opium monthly. There are some very high offers for this shop as compared with the bids made in Kohima when it was sold by auction. I suspect that the reason is partly that it was the only unrationed shop on the Railway in the neighbourhood and therefore of value for smuggling purposes as I understand a good deal of opium is smuggled into Burma via the Assam-Bengal Railway and Chittagong. Partly, however, the competition for the shop was in order to exploit the wretched Mikirs for cane and lac and agar, the last of which has now a tremendously enhanced value. Under the present system the opium shops are simply used as a handle to induce the Mikirs to bring in jungle produce, for which I fancy they are paid in opium instead of cash, and it is well known that the Marwari trader who wants to make a fortune in cane, cotton, agar or lac must control the opium shop either directly or Benami, and it is obviously to his interest to encourage opium eating, and that much more so than the man who merely sells it for the profit on the opium, since he stands to make a huge profit in so many ways of each opium eating Mikir.
text: I got news this day from the Commandant that 500 rifles were being taken from Kohima for the campaign against the Tea garden coolies. I had not been informed, let alone consulted, by the Inspector General of Police which I think is wrong. Only 100 effectives are left in Kohima and this is not enough for the safety of the district. If any trouble broke out (and trouble in the plains does not make this any the less likely) 100 men is the minimum required to protect Kohima and in addition to them there ought to be a striking force of 150 rifles without which it might be impossible to take any action at all.