CALENDAR OF IMPORTANT EVENTS IN APATANI PLATEAU

(ZIRO CIRCLE ) 1889-1967

1889 - Mr. H.M. Crowe, a Tea Planter of the Joyhing Tea Estate made his first historical visit to the Apatani plateau and for a while stayed near the village of Hong.

1895- A German explorer Von Eulers visited the Apatani plateau but was met with an inhospitable reception and was robbed and turned out of the country.

1896- A party of Ankas ( Apatanis) put up at the house of one Podu Miri near the Kadam Tea Estate, and when the family had peacefully laid down to sleep, killed Podu and his step-son and carried away four captives. Three months after, a small expeditionary force was dispatched into the hills, which reached the valley of Hong, rescued the prisoners, and punished the Ankas by compelling them to release the six persons whom they had carried off a short time previously from a friendly Dafla village. (Assam District Gazetteers:North Lakhimpur -1905 ).

1897- In 1897 a military expedition visited the country of the Apatanis. After prolonged discussions they were induced to hand over two captives and guns taken during a raid in 1896.

1903- Mr. H.M. Crowe made a second trip to the Apatani plateau in the company of Captain Dun.

1930- A devastating fire broke out in Hari village, which destroyed all the houses, all the granaries, the livestocks and the village bamboo groves.

1932- Dr. Bor, Political Officer, Balipara Frontier Tract, visited the Apatani country in 1932.

1935- -A deadly disease broke out in an epidemic form in the Apatani plateau and in the Dafla village. The people remember this as the biggest calamity which ever fell.

1944- -A hand hunting rite performed by the Apatanis was witnessed by Dr. Furer-Haimendorf in the village of Kalong. The slain was a woman of the village Pemir who was killed by a warrior of Kalong.

-The Government of India decided to establish a provisional base in the Apatani valley and an outpost in the Dafla area. It was decided to employ one and a half platoon of Assam Rifles to suppress the the raiding and to send Survey Party to Survey the area.

-A slave girl of irresponsible character of the village of Hong was hacked to pieces at the traditional place of execution near the Kille river of the Apatani valley.

1945- Mr. J.P. Mills, CIE, ICS, Adviser to the Governor of Assam for Tribal areas and states made a visit to the Apatani valley where he was well received. Mr. Mills’ daughter fell ill while she was in the Apatani valley and had to be carried to the plains. The journey was difficult and it took about three weeks before she reached Dejoo Tea Estate where she met an untimely death form pneumonia.

1949- - A serious uprisal of the Apatanis in their plateau took place. The Kure outpost was in the charge of a Base Superintendent, Shri N.P Miri. The uprisal was a direct result of the fears and apprehensions of the Apatanis that their way of life would be interfered with and that they would be compelled to pay revenue to the Government for their land. The more well-to-do of the Apatanis were also resentful of the Government policy barring them from keeping slaves. The Apatanis decided to stop purchasing salt and other requirements from the plains of Assam and turned to, instead, for trade with Tibetans. Shri D.N. Hazarika, Base Superintedent took over the charge of Kure outpost on 28th May’1949. He left the Apatani plateau on 8th June’1949 and on arriving at Kure on 11th June heard that the Apatanis were preparing to fight against the government . On the night of 11th June the entire camp, including Assam Rifles barracks, was brunt. The same night they prepared to attack Kure also. Due the some hesitation on the part of some of the people they decided to attack Kure the next day. On the night of 12th June they surrounded Kure outpost and started attacking from all sides with poisonous arrows etc. The main attack was on the morning of the 13th June at 4-30 A.M. The Assam Rifles were compelled to fire in self defence causing some deaths and injuries to others. One Assam Rifles Jawan was badly wounded. The camp was saved by the timely arrived of reinforcement from Kimin. One of the reasons of the incident was the arrest and imprisonment of Shri Chigin Nime in Tezpur jail. Chigin Nime was a prominent Apatani.

1950- The Great earthquake occurred on the 15th August in this part of the Frontier. The earthquake caused heavy rockfalls, particularly on the bank of the Kamla river near Gocham.

1951- Ziro landing ground was constructed by Shri R.G. Menzies and Otter landed in 1951. A Dakota landed in 1952 after lengthening of the landing ground.

1952- Divisional Headquarters shifted to Ziro from Kimin by Shri R.G. Menzies on 24th March, 1952.
- Shri Jairamdas Daulatram , Governor of Assam visited ziro on 24th March,1952.
-Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, visited Ziro on 23rd October, 1952.
1952-53 -Three L.P. schools opened ( in Zziro, Doimukh and Pitapool).

1953-54 - Ziro L.P. Schools upgraded to M.E. School. L.P. schools in Hari , Reru-Bulla, Hong, Hija (Dreibya ) and Panbari opened.

1952- -Ziro NES Block No.I inauguranted on 2nd October, 1954.

1956- Shri Jairamdas Daulatram, Government of Assam visited Ziro on 13th February, 1956 for the second time. Upto 1956, hospital/health units opened at Ziro, Kimin, Sagalee, Nyapin and Tamen.

1957- -Bathing Ghat declared open by Shrimati Gisela Mehta in March, 1957 in Hong village.

- Ziro- Kamin road was opened in 1957.

1958- -Srimati Indira Gandhi visited ziro on 18th March, and declared open a drinking water reservoir with a piped water supply in Hari village. She also presided over function presenting to the people a Bathing Ghat for the people on Kille stream near Reru village.

-Srimati Freeda M Bedi visited Ziro on 18th March.

-Punyo Tamar, the noted chief of the village of Hong died after having lived a century.

-An IAC Dakota plane crashed on ziro landing ground on 13th may’58.
-Ziro NES Block No.II inaugurated on 2nd October.

1959- Shri Saiyad Fazl Ali, Governor of Assam visited Ziro on 10th February for a short stay of few hours and declared open a drinking water reservoir with piped supply of wager in Bamin village.

-Approximately 600 mirror carps fingerlings were brought for the first time to this Division from Shillong and released in ponds constructed by Padi Lailang and other villagers, in Reru village. Later more fingerlings were brought and released in Hija and Hong villages.

-General S.M Shrinagesh, Governor of Assam, accompanied by Adviser, Inspector General of Assam Rifles and other officials visited Ziro on 17th October. He was met by the tribal people and other officials at a gathering and presided over a Durbar.

-Lt.Col H.H. Maharaj Manbendra Shah of Tehri Garhwal visited Ziro in October.

-An IAC Dakota plane crashed on Ziro landing ground on 31st December.

1960- Chief of the Naval staff Shri R. D. Katari visited Ziro on 22nd March’60.

-Devastating fire broke out in Hija village on 1st May’60 at 2100 hrs. Destroyed over 300 houses and 40 granaries. 1100 people were affected.

-Another fire broke in Dutta village on 12th May’60.

-In May, 1960 the Political Offier, Shri B.S. Dougal, IFAS, led a team of officers to the hitherto unknown Tale valley lying behind a range of hills over ten thousand feet high, about twenty miles to the north-east of Ziro. They found a vast plateau of about one hundred and twenty square miles area, at an attitude of eight thousand feet. The plateau was covered by dense forest consisting of giant silver fir trees of as much as eighteen feet girth and a hundred and fifty feet high, birch, maple, oak and horsechestnut tree and vast stretches of thin pliable bamboo, small lakes and a big swampy area with moss over a foot thick underfoot. Over six species of rhododendrons were identified, some growing like huge trees twenty feet high. Medicinal plants like gaultheria fregranthesima and delicate ferns covered the area like gossamer lace. Orchids were plentiful. The climate was bracing and scented by the fir trees. The approach in the rainy season was through tiger leeches infested jungle, great green and yellow spotted ones dangling from every bush on the way over the hills. There were none at Tale however. There are some beautiful streams running through the valley.

-Devastating fire gutted 57 houses in Tajang village on 3rd August’60. 300 people were affected.
-Divisional headquarters of Subansiri Frontier Division, shifted from old Ziro to new township in Hapoli which was renamed as Ziro, on 15th August’60.

-Border Road Task Force, Tusker Project took over charge of Kamin-Ziro road from CPWD and commenced work on broadening for three ton vehicle traffic. Also started construction of road from Ziro to Tamen for one ton vehicle.

-Four new villages sprung up as off shoots of other Apatani village due to overcrowding resulting from increased population.
These are:-
1. Deeko-Pita Near Hong village
2. Bakhane Near Hong village
3. Sibe Near new headquarters
4. Lempia Near Tajang village.
-Fruit orchard opened in Ziro with over 1200 Sikkim apple plants and other fruit trees planted.

-Lt. Col J.N. Ghosh, Director of Health Services, NEFA, Shillong visited Ziro and toured up to Koloriang the first time a Head of Department to tour in the interior of this Division. He detected case of whooping cough.

1961- Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commissioner under Chaimanship of Shri U.N. Dhebar accompanied by the Commissioner, NEFA, the Adviser for Tribal Affairs, NEFA, visited Ziro on 23rd January, 1961 and halted for the night. The Commissioner departed the next day. Shri Dhebar declared open Fazl Ali Memorial Club which had been constructed by the people and the staff on self-help basis.

-Improved road communication and electric lighting with electric generator installed in power house in new township formally declared open in April . Pipe water supply to new township formally declared open.

- Formal sanction accorded to new Agricultural-cum -Demonstration farm at Yazali in place of farm closed down in the H.Q.

-Unprecedented rains caused a severe flood in the Apatani plateau in 1961 which destroyed a considerable area of newly transplanted paddy seedlings. The people said this was the worst flood in living memory. The people replanted all the damaged fields.

-Children’s park and a large playground declared open in Ziro new township on the Independence Day. Children’s park provided with fountain and lit up by electric light.

1961 -Smti. Laxmi Menon, Deputy Minister, External Affairs accompanied by two M.P.s and Commissioner, NEFA visited Ziro on 17th May’61.
-Shri G. S. Puri, I.F.A.S., Commissioner, NEFA, visited Ziro on 8th Oct’61 and inaugurated Ziro stadium.

1966 - Shri U.K. Handy, Commissioner for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes Commission for Linguistic Minorities, Govt. of India visited Ziro on 17th March’66.

1967 -Shri P. N. Luthra, Advisor to the Governor of Assam visited Ziro and graced the Dree Festival on 6th July’67.

1972, January 20, It was here that the NEFA gained the Union Territory status at Ziro and renamed as Arunachal Pradesh. Shri K.A.A Raja, then the Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh, visited Ziro on 24th July.

1974, The Apatani Youth Association (AYA), Ziro was formed on 19th May.

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To be continued…………
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..CALENDAR OF EVENTS