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In Abor Jungles Of North East India

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About the Book

The book records the sensational story of the most gruesome and treacherous murder of Mr. Noel Williamson, Assistant Political Officer at Sidiya and Dr. Gregorson, Medical Officer-in-Charge, European and Native Staff of Tea Gardens, Tinsukhia in 1911 at the hands of Abor tribes in the North-East frontier of old Assam province of India. In sheer cruelty and treachery, the tale of this gruesome murder has few parallels, specially when it is seen that Mr. Williamson had set out on a goodwill mission (the third tour of its kind since he took over as Assistant Political Officer), accompanied by Dr. Gregorson and 47 coolies, carrying a number of gifts and a chest of medicines for Abors of Minyong. Mr. Williamson had left for Konsing, leaving behind Dr. Gregorson to look after the sick coolies at Sissin. The former was done to death at Konsing and the latter at Sissin together with majority of their party of whom only five could manage to flee through dense jungles, chased by Abors and their dogs. The rest of the story revolves round planning of a comprehensive military strategy to take revenge against the guilty Abors for their crimes. The news of the massacre reached Dibrugarh on April 5, 1911. Soon the Dy. Commissioner of Lakhimpur and the Commandant of Lakhimpur Military Police pushed off with a movable column of 150 men and reached Pasighat by boats. The Lt. Governor of Assam consulted Major General H. Bower, the Officer Commanding of Assam Brigade about the punitive action to be taken against the guilty Abors. The latter advised military action only after the rains were over. Till then the small force, that had already left, must wait at Pasighat. The feasibility of a plan for military action was drawn by General Bower in consulation with different authorities at Calcutta, Shillong and Dibrugarh with due regard to factors like difficult terrain, communication difficulties, dense forests, turbulent mountain rivers, engagement of Naga coolies and hosts of other problems. But no difficulty was insurmountable before resolute will and firm determination specially for General Bower who had commanded the Assam Brigade since 1908 and had a thorough knowledge of tribal and physical peculiarities of the region. Besides, his men had implicit confidence in him. He had already become famous for his expeditions in Tibet, travels in the Pamirs and exploration in the deserts of Chinese Turkestan. He was also awarded the Founders’ Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society. This book includes detailed descriptions of the various phases of Abor Expedition resulting in a crushing defeat of Abor tribes which comprised a number of clans including Minyongs, Padams, Komkars, Karkos, Panggis, Pasis, Dobas or Galongs, Simongs and Aiengs. The whole story is of such an absorbing interest that if one starts reading it, he would not like to stop unless he has finished the whole book. Finally, the ‘gams’ of Kebang and Sissin and the rest of Abors yielded. Cairns were built in the grateful memory of Noel Williamson and Dr. Gregorson exactly at the spots where they had been massacred. The closing part of the book deals with the geographical survey of the hitherto unexplored river system of Abor land for which the opportunity came as a godsend. All the aspects relating to the geographical exploration of the area were thoroughly investigated as explained in the book. Thus it is not only a gripping narrative or remarkable chronicle of the Abor expedition but is also a book giving an interesting account of exploration of a region in which no white man had set his foot before.

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