Imphal: Chief Minister N Biren Singh unveiled a statue of Saheed Subedar Niranjan Singh Chhetri, one of the heroes of Anglo-Manipur War, 1891 and a confidant of Bir Tikendrajit, at Kanglatongbi in Imphal West District Sunday.
Subedar Niranjan was hanged to death by Britishers for his role in the war on June 8, 1891. He was initially a Sepoy in the 34th Native Infantry of the British Army. However, he left the Britishers to join the Army of Manipur kingdom. He was appointed as a Subedar by Bir Tikendrajit.
Speaking on the occasion, N Biren Singh said that Gorkhas should never get discouraged with the notion that they belong to a minority community in Manipur, stating that the present Government would never tolerate suppression of smaller groups by larger communities.
The story of Subedar Niranjan Singh Chhetri is the testimony that Gorkhas also contributed their mite in safeguarding the freedom of Manipur, he observed. The Chief Minister further said that more statues of patriots who had laid down their lives for the sake of motherland will be constructed at different places. These include Thangal General, Chirai Naga, Maharaj Gambhir Singh, Maharaj Narsingh, etc., he added.
As requested by the Gorkha community of Manipur, another statue of Subedar Niranjan Singh Chhetri would be erected at a proper place soon, the Chief Minister announced.
He said that severing ties with the British to join hands with his fellow Manipuris was Subedar Niranjan’s unique personality. That is why people of Manipur call him a hero and his bravery, patriotism and love for his fellow Manipuris are fondly remembered till today, the Chief Minister pointed out.
He further said that a memorial stone engraved with the names of those, who were exiled to Kalapani after Anglo-Manipur War, would also be erected soon near Saheed Minar so that people may pay homage on Patriots’ Day.
Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board Chairman and Sekmai AC MLA H Dingo, Khurkhul Zilla Parishad Member A Bikram, Kanglatongbi Gram Panchayat Pradhan Meena Bista, Tripura University Vice-Chancellor Dr Ganga Prasai, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh Central President Sukhman Moktan, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh Central General Secretary Nirmal Pun, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, Manipur State Branch President Laxuman Bista also attended the function as dignitaries.
A book titled, “Saheed Niranjan Singh Chhetri, the Unsung hero of Anglo-Manipur (Khongjom) War, 1891”, authored by Ghanashyam Acharya and a booklet titled, “Sahid Subedar Niranjan Chhetry, Bharat Emagi Athouba Mapari” by Ajit Das were also released at the occasion.