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Moidams believed to be of Alaboi martyrs discovered

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, Nov 1� Hundreds of small earth mounds, believed to be moidams of the Assamese soldiers, who embraced martyrdom fighting the Mughal army at the Alaboi battlefield around 345 years back, have been discovered by archaeologists of the State Archaeology Directorate near Posoria village of Dodora area in Kamrup district. Each of these mounds is two to three feet high.

The Alaboi battle was fought between the Assamese forces and the Mughal forces about two years prior to the historic Saraighat battle. The Assamese forces conclusively defeated the Mughals in the Saraighat battle.

The team of the Archaeology Directorate, led by archaeologist Nabajit Deori, found the earth mounds to be very densely located. Local people informed the team from the Directorate that the mounds were graves of the Assamese soldiers, who sacrificed their lives at the August 5, 1669 Alaboi battle. The moidams are located on the highland of the Molong Pahar, inside the present Sitalabari Reserved Forest, about one kilometre from the Ganesh Mandir Chowk on the Dodora-Changsari Railgate Road.

Director Archaeology Deepirekha Kauli told this correspondent that as per the report of the team, most of the moidams are gradually levelled under the impact of the elements and anthropogenic activities, among others. Alarmingly, some private companies have also been digging the areas adjacent to the moidams. There is also an apprehension that the area, where these moidams are located, may face encroachment in the days to come, she said.

She said that the team has suggested a small-scale excavation or a pit-trench in the area to authenticate the moidams and protection of the site under the provisions of the Assam Ancient Monuments and Remains Act, 1969 for posterity.

The Alaboi battle was fought by the Assamese soldiers under the generalship of Lachit Barphukan on August 5, 1669 with the Mughal forces led by Ram Singh. The battle took place in the southern fringe of the Alaboi Hill. The Assamese soldiers initially fought valiantly, despite the initial reluctance of their general Lachit Barphukan, who was somewhat bewildered by the strategic drawbacks of his side. The Mughals had the additional strength of a cavalry regiment, which the Assamese side did not have. Moreover, the Mughals were entrenched in a strategic location. But it was the insistence of the then Ahom Swargadeo Chakradhwaj Singha that compelled Lachit Barphukan to order his troops to attack the Mughals.

During the first half of the day, the Assamese force was seemed to be victorious. But in the second half of the day, when the Assamese troops were returning to their camps, Ram Singh deployed his Rajput cavalry regiment to pounce upon the Assamese soldiers and within two to three hours, around 10,000 Assamese soldiers were butchered by that regiment.

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