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Efforts to bring back historic cannons to Aizawl
Published on 20 Apr. 2010 1:13 AM IST
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Efforts were being made to bring back the two cannons used by the Duke of Wellington’s troops to defeat French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, taken away by the Assam Rifles from Aizawl in 2003. “Director General of the Assam Rifles and Union Home Ministry officials have been approached and Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who is also the patron and life member of the INTACH has sent a letter to the Union Home Minister and DG of the Assam Rifles,” leaders of Mizoram chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage told a press conference here today. The two cannons were part of armaments of a Burma-bound warship that was docked in the Chittagong Port (now in Bangladesh) in 1857 and were thrown overboard when the 34th Native Infantry mutinied on November 18 that year during the Sepoy Mutiny. They were later retrieved after the mutiny was crushed and taken to Aizawl and placed at the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters by Lt Colonel J Shakespeare in 1892. They were taken away from Aizawl in 2003 by their custodian, the First battalion of AR, to Tuensang in Nagaland. The INTACH leaders also said that while the Mizoram Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 2001 was in force since 2003, the Mizoram Heritage Conservation Bill, 2009 was being examined by the state law commission for introduction in the state assembly. At least 47 monuments have been declared as protected monuments in the state and many buildings having historical value have also been identified. Efforts were also being made to patent traditional designs of Mizo ‘Puan’ or shawls and handicrafts in accordance with the Intellectual Property Rights, they said. The INTACH Mizoram Chapter was formed in 1984 soon after the INTACH was constituted in New Delhi in the same year.

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