The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

printed - tour diary of the Deputy Commissioner of the Naga Hills for the year 1870-1872 (John Butler) volume two

caption: Manipuris refuse to supply coolies to put up boundary marks; Major Roma Sing says he has orders to knock down markers, but agrees not to under duress
medium: tours
person: AustinThomson/ Col.Roma Sing/ MajorAitchison/ Mr
location: Khono Mt. (Khunho Mt.) Dzulu R. (Zullo R.) Sopoomah
date: 17.1.187311.7.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 17th January. Halted again in order to allow of Austin's visiting the summit of Khunho, the hill from which the Zullo River takes its rise.
text: As Austin required some coolies this morning to accompany him to clear the hill top in order to permit of his taking bearings from thence, I asked Colonel Thomson to do me the favour to [28] obtain them from Sopoomah and on his sending over to the "Major" requesting him to obtain them, the latter first asked whether the coolies were required to put up boundary pillars or only survey marks, and on being told it was for the latter purpose alone, he had the audacity to send back a message flatly refusing to do anything of the kind, and so I had to obtain them myself.
text: Shortly after this, Colonel Thomson informed me that the Major Roma Sing had just been to see him and had told him that the Rajah had given orders that he was to knock down the boundary pillars and that he was just going to set out to do so. Upon hearing which I begged Colonel Thomson to send for the Major again and then (in the presence of both Thomson and Austin), asked him whether it was true that he was really about to attempt to knock down the boundary pillars which I had erected. He replied in the affirmative and said that such was his intention. I then went very carefully over the whole matter and explained to him that by the orders of Government contained in Mr. Aitchison's letter No. 1559-P, dated the 11th July last, the boundary line to be adopted between Assam and Manipur had been very clearly defined and that until I received other instructions, it was that line alone I could recognize and no other. That a portion of that line had been marked out by pillars, in erecting which he ought to have given me every assistance, instead of which he had rendered none and indeed on the contrary, had thrown every obstacle in my way. That notwithstanding this opposition on his part, I had with considerable difficulty succeeded at last in having the pillars put up and that now once they were up it was my firm intention to stand by them and see that no one dared to knock them down, and that I therefore now most distinctly forbade him in Her Majesty's name to touch the pillars pending the receipt of the further orders of Government, and that I now wished him to tell me distinctly whether he was still going to make the attempt, as in that case I should proceed at once to take the necessary steps to protect the pillars and report his conduct to the Government who I warned him would assuredly support me in carrying out their own orders. After hearing this the "Major" asked me to allow him an hour's grace to think the matter over and accordingly went off to consult his Soobadars on the subject, and after an absence of rather more than an hour, on my sending over to him to come and give me his reply, he returned and informed me that he would abandon his intention of knocking down the pillars if I would assure him that I would only record that he (the Major) had only refrained from doing so owing to the peremptory orders which I had given him and that although he now obeyed my orders, he did so "under protest", an assurance which of course I at once gave him. And so I hope that matter is satisfactorily settled at all events for the present.