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In the meantime, the Government of India received the report of the murder of the British Officers. The Government of India issued further instructions to the General Officer Commanding the Manipur Field Force. These instructions governed his proceeding to Manipur. He was to issue a proclamation to the effect that the armed forces of the Manipur State had opposed the representatives of the British Government and its troops.

The Manipur State had, therefore, become guilty of open rebellion against Her Majesty the Queen Empress of India. The proclamation should mention that the authority of the Regent Kulachandra Dhaja Singh came to an throughout the State of Manipur until further orders. The proclamation was to be issued if possible before General Graham crossed the frontier of Manipur. He was to warn the people of Manipur not to resist his advance to Manipur.

The people of Manipur were to be informed that he was going to Manipur to take possesion of the capital of the State. He was to punish the persons who acted as leaders or instigators of the revolt or who were concerned in the murder of the British subjects. General Graham was clearly instructed to impose death penalty only on persons who were found guilty of murder or abetment of murder or those persons who were found as the instigators of the revolt. He was not to resort to indiscrirninate punishment of the rank and file of Manipuri Officials.

General Graham was to first relieve Grant and Presgrave who were in Manipur. After relieving Grant and Presgrave, he was to take Manipur and re-establish order in Manipur. He was to capture the Regent and other persons who were in authority in Manipur. General Graham was instructed not to offer any term to the Manipuris. He was to refuse any basis for negotiation from the Manipuris side. He should insist on the unconditional surrender of the Manipuris. The General was not to give any hope or promise of saving the lives of those persons who were involved in the revolt and the subsequent murder of the British Officers.

On taking the possession of Manipur State, the General was to issue a proclamation prohibiting possession of arms without licence. The punishment for possession of illegal arms was death. The Manipuri troops and the people of Manipur city should be disarmed and all armed gatherings should be dispersed.

The instructions issued to the Officer Commanding the Manipur Field Force contained the procedure to be followed in awarding punishment to the guilty persons. Any persons suspected of murder or abetment of murder or of acting as instigators or leaders of the revolt should be tried. McCabe or Mr Soppit the Officer had been given powers of passing capital sentences subject to the confirmation by the Commending Officer, Manipur Field Force.

In case of the trial of the Regent or any other member of the ruling family, the trial should be done by a court consisting of three officers including at least one Political Officer. The sentences awarded be the Regent or any member of the ruling family should to confirmed by the Government of India. The trial should be completed as soon as possible and the punishment should be public and striking.

The Government of India took the view that the people of Manipur were generally responsible for the outrage. The Government of India therefore directed the Officer Commanding Manipur Field Force to suggest suitable penalty. At the same time, he was instructed to domolish a portion of the palace buildings of the Manipuris. It was to create an impression on the people of Manipur the gravity of the offence which they committed against the Government of India.

A levy in the form of kind could be also imposed on the people of Manipur. This fine would be able to meet some portion of the supplies for the British Army stationed in Manipur. A word of caution was also given in the instructions while inflicting penalty to the people of Manipur state. Penalty that would force the people to resort to farther resistence to the British Government should be avoided.

The Officer Commanding Manipur Field Force should also not "rtpose on the people of Manipur any penalty that would make them difficult to deal with. The penalty that was to be imposed should be just and deliberate. In awarding punishment care should be taken to enforce strictest discipline.

Instruction was also given to the Officer Commanding Manipur Field Force that sacred objects should be respected while demolishing the palace buildings of Manipur State. Definition of Manipur people was also given in the instructions. The words 'Manipur People' should include the inhabitants of the Manipur Valley and the inhabitants of the adjoining hill tracts which acknowledged the supermacy of Manipur State.

As soon as the news of the advance of the British troops from north, west and east reached Manipur, Regent Kulachandra who was known as the Maharaja of Manipur by the Manipuris sent eight hundred Manipuri tropps under the joint command of Kwairakpa, Laisraba, Jambhuban Major, Heigrujamba Poila and Maibya Tamra Singh Subedar towards the north to oppose the British column coming from Kohima.

One thousand soldiers were sent under the command of Sagol Hanjaba Rajkumar Kala Singh, Sana Nganba Lourung Purel, Yenkhoiba Poila and Longjamba Poila to oppose the British column from Silchar. Seven hundred sepoys were sent under the command of Maipak Sana alias Lokendra Birjit Singh, Wangkheirakpa and Rudra Singh Yenkhoiba Major to resist the British column coming from Tamu. Paona Brajabasi and Chongtha Mia Singh were promoted to Major and were sent with four hundred Manipuri soldiers to reinforce Manipuri force against British column from Tamu.

Lieutenant Grant was the Commander of Detachment of 12th Burma Infantry at Tamu. As soon as he got the news of desaster at Manipur, he volunteered to proceed towards Manipur for rescue of the British prisoners. He got the orders on the 27th March, 1891 and on the 28th March, 1891 at 5.30 a.m. Lieutenant Grant marched from Tamu towards Manipur. His Party consisted of 43rd Gurkha Rifles and 12th Madras infatry. One Jamadar and thirty Rifles with 60 rounds per man from 43rd Gurkha Rifles, one Subedar and fifty Rifles with 160 rounds per man from the 12th (Burma) Madras Infantry. In the party there were also one hospital assistant, 28 followers, 6 transport followers, 3 elephants and some country coolies.

A small party of Chins tried to ambush the column of Lieutenant Grant four miles from Tamu on the 28th March, 1891. But the shots from the Chins could do no harm on the column. On the 29th March, 1891 the party arrived at Kongaung. At this place the Manipuris opened signal shots. The Manipuris subsequently retired over the ridge near Tinglapal.57 The Manipuris numbering 200 evacuated their garrison at Tinglapal as soon as the party of Grant arrived.

The British party chased the Manipuris. In the pursuit, two Manipuri sepoys and a man said to be the cook of a Manipuri Officer were caught. Lieutenant Grant was able to know the murder of the British Officers at Manipur and the escape of Mrs. Grimwood from this man. Captain Presgrave of 12th Burma Infantry was to relieve Lieutenant Grant at Tamu. Lieutenant Grant informed Captain Presgrave of how he learnt about the murder of the British Officers. He also informed Captain Presgrave of his plan to march towards Manipur.

On the 31st March, 1891 the march towards Manipur of Lieutenant Grant was resisted by the Manipuris. In the evening Lieutenant Grant prepared a fort by clearing the fields. He collected provisions there and remained at the fort till the 9th April, 1891 on which day he retired on receipt of a letter from Captain Presgrave who was sent to enable Lieutenant Grant to withdraw his small force from Manipur.

Lieutenant Grant was relieved by Captain Presgrave. They had started for Tamu. Major Sir C.R. Leslie of 24th Gurkha Regiment arrived at Tamu in the meantime. Major Leslie directed Captain Presgrave to go back towards Manipur and occupy Pallel. Captain Presgrave met the Manipuris on his second advance on Palel. He defeated the Manipuris with heavy loss. He occupied finally Palel where he was joined subsequently by Major Sir Charles Leslie with the 24th Gurkha Regiment. Thus Palel became the advanced position of the Tamu column till the arrival of the remainder of the Column on the 25th April, 1891.

On the morning of the 23rd April, 1891 from the advanced position at Palel, Major Leslie with a party of 150 Gurkhas arrived at Kakching, a Manipuri village at the south eastern part of the valley of Manipur. The party of Major Leslie also consisted of the mounted Infantry of the 12th Burma The Manipuri party under Wangkhei Meiraba Poila also arrived at Kakching. As soon as the Manipuri party arrived at Kakching, they were taken by surprise by the British troops under Major Leslie. A hand to hand fight took place between the two parties. The Manipuris were defeated and the Manipuri leader Wangkhei Meiraba Poila was Killed.

The main body of the Tamu column concentrated at Tamu, Burma on the 21st April, 1891. It advanced on the 23rd April, 1891 towards Manipur. On the 24th April, 1891 the main body of the column was at Tinghaphul. The Headquarters at Tinghaphul received information from Palel that the Manipuris had entrenched themselves in a position about six miles north of Palel.

Immediately the Headquarters at Tinghaphul issued orders to the Palel advanced position to make a reconnaisance party which was sent under the command of Captain Drury, 24th Gurkha Regiment by the advanced position at Palel. The Headquarters proceeded towards Palel and reached Palel without any opposition from the Manipuris.

Captain Drury, the Commander of the Reconnaissance party sent information to the Headquarters at Palel that he had hemmed in a Large number of the Manipuris in their entrenchment about six miles north of Palel. He further informed the Headquarters that the Manipuris could not escape from their entrenchment. Captain Drury therefore sought permission from the Headquarters to turn out the Manipuris from their fort.

The Manipuri fortification was six miles north of Palel. It was some distance from the village of Langathel, a village on Indo-Burma road. There was open country all round the earth work or morcha. It was 200 yards to the laft of the road. It was 500 yards to the right of the road extended to the low range of hills. Low knolls ran out from the low range of the hills towards the road at intervals of a mile or so.

The fort of the Manipuris was about 40 to 60 feet in diameter. It was surrounded by a deep nullah containing water in the east, south and west sides of the morcha. The nullah was entirely concealed by tall grass. The fort was circular in shape with earthwork all round being about four feet high. There was a deep trench behind this earthwork. This trench was occupied by the Manipuri defenders61. The name of the place where the Manipuri fort was erected is known as the Khongjom.

The Commanding Officer of the Tamu Column thought that the force at the disposal of Captain Drury was not strong enough for the purpose of driving out the Manipuris from their entrenchement. Captain Drury had only 100 rifles of the 24th Gurkha Regiment, 50 rifles of the 12th (Burma) Madras Infantry, and 44 mounted infantry of the 12 (Burma) Madras Infantry with him. The General Officer, therefore ordered two guns of No. 2 Mountain Battery and 200 rifles of the 24th Gurkha Regiment to re-inforce Captain Drury.


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