One of the oldest villages in Manipur, Haijang village, which is said to be a 200-year-old village in Kangpokpi district, Manipur, celebrated its bicentennial anniversary on Thursday.
Industry Minister Nemcha Kipgen attended the event as chief guest and unveiled the monolith of the village erected by village chief Thangkhopao Chongloi in honour of the village founder and his succeeding chiefs. The monolith was blessed by Restoration Theological College, Imphal principal Satkhokai Chongloi.
History of Haijang village in Kangpokpi district, Manipur
According to history, Haijang village was established by the Late Helkhotong Chongloi in 1823 AD.
After his death and during the time when Late Jamkhohel Chongloi was the chief of the village, World War II was at its peak. The inroad to the destination of the Japanese Army passed through Haijang village. The Japanese Army on their tactical road march usually took rests in the village.
The British Army, however, was given misleading information that the village was a permanent tactical headquarters of the Japanese Army. One day at noon time, the British Army conducted an airstrike on the village with two warplanes dropping two bombs. The airstrikes killed seven persons and critically injured three persons.
The British Government later learned that the bombing caused death to the innocent villagers rather than the Japanese Army and regretted their failed mission. The British Political Agent (PA) Sir Gimson wrote an official letter of procurationem for war relief and handed it over to the then village chief Jamkhohel Chongloi.
However, there was no way to run after the letter amid the tensions of the war. Therefore, the letter remained as a ‘Dead Letter’ and merely preserved as a ‘documentary letter’ till today.
Despite the fact that Haijang village had been terribly devastated during World War II, no assistance both in kind and cash were provided to the village.
Further, the aftermath of the bombing was the outbreak of an epidemic disease in the village. In fear of the epidemic, a majority of the residents abandoned the village and scattered to the nearby villages.
However, Haijang village survived and celebrated its 200th anniversary and remained one of the oldest villages in the state of Manipur.
Bicentennial celebration of Haijang village
Nemcha Kipgen said that she felt blessed to have Haijang village, one of the oldest villages in Manipur under her assembly constituency. She also appreciated the chief of Haijang village and the villagers for not indulging in poppy cultivation but rather standing firm with the government’s War against Drugs.
She wished the village chief and his family, and the villagers good health, prosperity, and unity.
A souvenir was also published and released as a mark of the village's bicentennial celebration on the occasion.