Retired Subedar Ngurneihthang Hmar Assam Regiment

Devendra Budakoti

It was 20th December evening that while surfing the TV channel I happened to see DD Shillong showing an interview of an Ex-Servicemen of the Assam Regiment who was 94 years old. As a Fauji ka Beta I got Sub with medalinterested to meet him and know more about his him and his days in the Army. My Friend Subhas Thaledi in DD-Dehradun had told me to meet one of his colleagues Mr. Arkin Pariate in AIR shilling, I thought besides meeting Arkin, I can also trace the Ex-Servicemen. So the Next day I went to AIR Shillong and met Arkin and then told him about the Ex-Servicemen and the interview. No sooner, I got the address from DD-Shillong. Soon I left for happy valley and met Retired Subedar Ngurneihthang Hmar. He is the living history of the Assam Regiment, as he was one of them when the First Battalion of the Assam Regiment was raised in June 1941 at Shillong. Before the raising of Assam regiment he was with the 4th Battalion of the Assam Rifles in Manipur. Soon after the raising, the first battalion of the Assam regiment was moved to defend the Assam oilfields and later the Burma front against the Japanese Attack. In a typed write up in roman hindi available with him, he mentions the name of Major Ayub Khan as the Battalion second in command in the Burma Front and after the death of his British Commanding officer (CO) in Burma Front, Major Ayub Khan was officiating as the CO for a short while. Later he has no idea where Major Arub Khan went or was posted. He recollected the propaganda done near Kohima, through the loud speakers by the Japanese telling the Indian troops to leave the British Indian Army and join the Japanese with the Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose, as they are their friends to free India and that they could come to them at night with a white flag/cloth put on the Rifles. Ngurneihthang after retiring has settled in Happy Valley-Shillong and come from the Hmar tribal community (Pronounced as Mar), many of his community people are living in Senvon-Manipur, an area bordering Mizoram.

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