North East India’s legendary freedom fighter, U Tirot Sing Syiem Who Deserve Our Salute

North East India’s legendary freedom fighter, U Tirot Sing Syiem, Who Deserve Our Salute, He and his band of warriors fought the British, tooth and nail. amazuy.com

North East India’s legendary freedom fighter, U Tirot Sing Syiem Who Deserve Our Salute

North East India’s legendary freedom fighter, U Tirot Sing Syiem

He and his band of warriors fought the British, tooth and nail. U Tirot Sing Syiem was on par with developing guerrilla warfare tactics, like Chattrapati Shivaji to near perfection in the hilly terrains.

U Tirot Sing Syiem belonged to the Khasi tribe, a sub-tribe of a larger group which migrated from Central Mongolia through Kashmir and settled in the plains of Brahmaputra and Surma valleys of Assam in between 4-5 B.C. Little is known about their exact origin. The Khasis were mainly occupied in agriculture, horticulture, coal mining, iron smelting, and limestone quarrying.

U Tirot Sing Syiem was an astute organiser and tactician. During his battles with the British, he organised the Khasi warriors. This ability to inspire the leaders and cadre came in for high praise, even from the enemy. He had also mastered the art of guerrilla warfare. He and his band of dedicated warriors conducted night raids on the British outposts and large units of British military contingents were ambushed and massacred. Sing’s guerilla warfare, probably the first of its kind in India worried the British.

As a master strategist, he selected special bands of warriors and deployed them in caves to produce ammunition for warfare. Having pledged commitment to the Khasi struggle for freedom in full, U Tirot Sing Syiem knew the importance of being informed. He gathered intelligence to facilitate his decisions and actions.

In KM Munshi’s words, “U Tirot Sing Syiem, and his 10,000-man army, evaded the British and occasionally swooped down upon the plains, causing alarm all over Assam. Once the panic was so great that even in Guwahati, the headquarters of the British, large numbers of people including high officials kept boats ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.”  

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