Williamnagar, Dec 12: The town of Williamnagar, headquarter of East Garo Hills district, remembered their hero Pa Togan Nengminja Sangma on his 141st death anniversary on Thursday. A death anniversary ceremony was held, as is done every year, at the Chisobibra memorial of the martyr with members of the GHADC, the District Administration as well as the local MLA, Deborah C Marak, paying their respects along with the NGOs.
On December 12, 1872, Togan Nengminja Sangma led a group of proud Garo warriors against the might of the British Empire with only traditional weapons. They fell to the British guns, but their sacrifices are still remembered to the day. The memorial is already a tourist destination, being just beside the Simsang River and providing an ideal setting for showcasing the region.
The event started with the laying of laurel wreaths on the cenotaph of the late warrior after which a five gun salute was paid. The organizers for the event, the Pa Togan Nengminja Memorial Association (TNMA), said the tribute was to a fallen hero who gave his life to protect the way of life of the Garos.
The local MLA and the Minister of the MUA II government spoke of the inspiration that had been provided to many by the acts of one group. She urged the people to work with the Government to better the Garo Hills region. She said, “The potential to promote our region to the world is huge and will provide a huge impetus to the economic condition of the people. Tourism itself is the fastest growing industry in the world and the same has to be exploited by us to the hilt”.
The Deputy Commissioner of East Garo Hills, Vijay K Mantri said, “It is indeed a proud moment for all of us as we stand on hallowed ground, where the patriot spilt his blood. I am sure that had he been alive today, he would still be fighting the evils that exist in Garo society today”.
The CEM of GHADC, Alphonse A Sangma, urged the people to emulate the acts of valour that was the living breath of the hero.
The event concluded with the people of the region singing songs in praise of their hero and a prayer for remembrance.