Thursday, February 29, 2024

Aizawl to get back Waterloo age cannons

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Guwahati: The two heritage cannon from the battle of waterloo that used to adorn Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, during 1892 to 2003 will be back in the hill city soon.

Union Home Ministry has assured Mizoram government that the two cannons which had been shifted away by a battalion of Assam Rifles will be returned before May 15, according to an official source.

Mizoram state Assembly had in July last year adopted a resolution for bringing the historic cannons back.

The 1st battalion of paramilitary Assam Rifles battalion had taken those cannons along with them and later it was being shifted to Kohima in Nagaland.

The two cannons were used by the Duke of Wellington’s troops against French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s in the Battle of Waterloo.

After its role in the war, the cannons remained as a decorative piece at the porch of the Assam Rifles Quarter Guard in Aizawl from 1892 to 2003.

Lt Colonel J Shakespear, superintendent of the erstwhile Lushai Hills district (of undivided Assam and now Mizoram), had installed the cannons in 1892.

In his 1939 book ‘The Making of Aijal’, Shakespear wrote that the British cannons of Waterloo vintage were loaded on a Burma-bound warship that docked at Chittagong ( now in Bangladesh) port in 1857 around the same time when Sepoy Mutiny broke out in British India.

The captain of the ship had the cannons thrown overboard in order to ensure that the cannons do not fall into the hands of the mutineers who would then use it against them.

After the mutiny was quelled, the cannons were fished out and transported to Aizawl.

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