The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: re-establishment of the North-Cachar sub-division
caption: Historical Summary - The Hills Districts
caption: trouble in Maibong caused by men who claimed to work miracle cures
medium: reports
person: Boyd/ Maj.SambhudanSoppitt
location: Maibong
date: 1881
date: 1882
date: 1882
date: 1883
date: 1881-1882
text: In this hitherto isolated and thinly-peopled region, in the cold weather of 1881-82, an event occurred which cost the life of a valued officer, Major Boyd, the Deputy-Commissioner of Cachar. A Cachari named Sambhudan declared himself inspired, claimed to work miraculous cures, and with his followers, who like himself, took the title of deo or god, levied contributions on the villagers about Maibong, the old capital of the Cachari kings, where he took up his abode. The matter came to the notice of the sub-divisional officer who reported it and the Deputy-Commissioner, Major Boyd, immediately started for Gunjong with 30 police and reached that place without impediment. On the 15th January, he left Gunjong with Mr. Soppitt, the sub-divisional officer, for Maibong, which is 6 or 8 hours' march distant; Maibong was reached and found deserted, and the party encamped in the huts of the deos. On the same day, Sambhudan and his party, some 20 men, countermarched him and about noon fell upon Gunjong where only a weak police-guard, composed mainly of Cachari constables who shared in the superstitions of their people, had been left. They were panic-stricken and fled without firing a shot; and the deos burned down all the houses at Gunjong, killed two servants and a sick policeman, and left precipitately for Maibong. On the morning of the 16th, soon after dawn, Major Boyd was awakened by the shouts and drums of Sambhudan and his followers, who had passed the night in the jungle. The police formed up in line with bayonets fixed, but did not fire at first. The enemy advanced right up to them and struck at them with their daos: one man was wounded on the shoulder with a dao and Major Boyd received a deep cut between the forefinger and thumb. The police then fired a volley and killed 8 of their assailants; 2 or 3 more were afterwards found dead in the jungle. Sambhudan escaped for the time, but the insurrection completely collapsed at once. Major Boyd was carried into Silchar; his wound brought on tetanus, from which he died on 30th January 1882.
text: Sambhudan evaded capture till the end of the year, when he was surrounded by the police who had received information of his hiding-place; in endeavouring to escape, he received a wound from which he quickly bled to death. Four of his gang were arrested of whom two died in jail and two were tried at the sessions: one was acquitted and the other sentenced to transportation for life.