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Mount Harriet in Andaman renamed as Mount Manipur to pay tribute to Manipuri freedom fighters imprisoned in Kalapani

After the Anglo-Manipur war in 1891, Maharaja of Manipur Kulachandra Singh and 22 were imprisoned in the Cellular Jail, also known as the Kalapani.

On Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that Mount Harriet in Kalapani in Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be renamed as Mount Manipur. Addressing a public rally at Port Blair, Amit Shah said that to honour the freedom fighters from Manipur who were jailed in the Cellular Jail, the mountain peak has been renamed as mount Manipur.

Home Minister Amit Shah said that Manipur had a significant contribution to the independence movement, but the state never got their due recognition for the same. Therefore, the union govt has decided to name the peak after the state. Along with this, the Manipur government will also build a memorial at the location.

“Manipur had a significant contribution in resisting the British in the entire Northeast during the 1857 Revolution and also in 1891. Manipur never gave up and the people there continued to fight. Manipur was the only state that had implemented its own constitution. Manipuri war hero Yuvraj Tikendrajit and General Thangal were publicly hanged in Fida, Imphal. The British thought that by hanging them, they had crushed the freedom movement, but it did not happen. After that Maharaja Kulchandra Dhwaja Singh and 22 freedom fighters were sent to Kala Pani and they were kept here on Mount Harriet. Today in his memory, we would like to honour his contribution by naming Mount Harriet as Mount Manipur,” Shah said.

After the Anglo-Manipur war in 1891, Maharaja of Manipur Kulachandra Singh and 22 were imprisoned in the Cellular Jail, also known as the Kalapani. The king’s brother Tikendrajit Singh, who was the military commander, was hanged along with four others in Imphal by the victorious British govt forces after the war.

Maharaja Kulachandra was tried before a special commission under the presidency of Lt. Col. St. John Mitchell on charge of waging war against the Queen Empress, and he was imprisoned for life with forfeiture of properties. Later he was transferred to Radhakund in UP, where he died in 1934.

On 13th August every year, people in Manipur commemorate the day as Patriot’s Day in honour of soldiers who had lost their lives in the war against the British. The renaming of Mount Harriet as Mount Manipur is intended to honour the sacrifice made by the brave Manipuris in the 1891 Anglo-Manipur war.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the renaming is a fitting tribute to Maharaja Kulachandra and other Manipuri freedom fighters imprisoned at Mt Harriet in Kalapani, and thanked prime minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah for the decision.

The CM further informed that the central govt will assist the Manipur govt in establishing a memorial site at Mount Manipur in Andaman Nicobar Island. He added that the process for signing lease agreement between Andaman Government and Manipur Government is under process.

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