Thursday, July 25, 2024

Mizoram vows to get back Waterloo cannons


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AIZAWL: The Mizoram Assembly has stood united over restoration of two historic cannons, used in the Battle of Waterloo, in Aizawl.

The Assemblyon Friday adopted a special motion to ensure that the two historic cannons, taken by the first battalion of the Assam Rifles to Nagaland, be restored to Mizoram.

Cutting across party lines, the members said that the two cannons, brought to Mizoram in 1892 by the then Superintendent of the erstwhile Lushai Hills district Lt Colonel J. Shakespear, belonged to the people of Mizoram and should be in the possession of the people of the state.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said he had written to the Union Home Minister and the then Director General of the Assam Rifles asking them to instruct the first battalion of the Assam Rifles to return the two cannons.

The special motion was moved by Lalduhoma, leader of the Zoram Nationalist Party.

The Mizoram unit of INTACH said that the two pieces of artillery displayed at the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters since 1892 were taken away in 2003 by their custodian, the First battalion of AR, to Tuensang in Nagaland.

P Rohmingthanga, a retired IAS officer and convenor of the state’s INTACH said the two historic cannons were placed at the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters here by Lt Colonel J Shakespeare in 1892.Shakespeare, in his book ‘The Making of Aijal’ (as Aizawl was known in those days) published in 1939 wrote that the cannons were among those used by the Duke of Wellington’s troops which were part of the combined armies of the Seventh Coalition to defeat French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the battle of Waterloo. ” When the detachment of the 34th Native Infantry mutinied on November 18 that year as part of the Sepoy Mutiny, the cannons were thrown overboard to prevent them from falling in the hands of the natives and were fished out after crushing the mutiny and brought to Aizawl,” he wrote.(UNI)


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