The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: the hills districts
caption: Historical Summary
caption: Re-establishment of the North Cachar subdivision
medium: reports
person: Bayley/ Sir SteuartBoyd/ Maj.SambhudanSoppitt/ Mr
ethnicgroup: KachaArung
location: Gunjong Maibong
date: 1892
date: 1893
text: 104. At the close of the Naga war of 1879-80, Sir Steuart Bayley recommended and the Government of India approved the re-establishment of the subdivisional charge of North Cachar where since 1866, no officer had been located, the hillmen being left, save for the rare cold weather tours of the Deputy Commissioner, entirely to themselves. The subdivision was opened in December 1880 and placed in charge of an Assistant Superintendent of Police who was stationed at Gunjong, in the centre of the tract, a point connected by easy hill paths with Nowgong to the north, Silchar to the south, and Jowai to the west. A bridle path to Kohima via the Kacha or Arung Naga country has since been constructed. 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 Kachari 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 Kachari kings, where he took up his abode. The matter came under the notice of the subdivisional officer who reported it and the Deputy Commissioner, Major Boyd, immediately started for Gunjong with 30 police and reached that place wihout impediment. On the 15th January he left Gunjong with Mr. Soppitt, the subdivisional 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 Kachari 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 eight of their assailants, two or three 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 the 30th January 1882. 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 was sentenced to transportation for life.
text: During the last ten years the history of this subdivision has been peaceful and uneventful, and nothing has transpired worthy of permanent record.