Ukhrul, Dec 12 : The World War 1 Tangkhul Naga Labour Corp Association (WW1 TNLCA) has accused the organizers of the ongoing Tangkhul Naga France Labour Corps Football Centenary, (TNFLFC) 2017 of distorting the history of their fore fathers by depicting the ongoing football tournament as commemoration of 66th Tangkhul Naga France Labour Corp football centenary celebration.
This is baseless and has misled many of the descendants, they claimed.
Speaking to the media during a press conference held today at Viewland, Ukhrul, a member of WW1 TNLCA Yuingam Kapai contested the decision of the organisers of Araang League to host the Tangkhul Naga France Labour Football Centenary (TNFLFC) and added that this is wrong interpretation of the Labour Corp history.
He said, their is no sufficient document or certificate to prove that a football tournament was held at any war zone area of France.
During leisure time, football was played but not as a tournament, he added.
Chairman of WW1 TNLCA W Kaping stated that the main purpose to engage or recruit Labour Corp was transportation of arms and ammunition, loading and unloading goods, digging trench, to serve as para medics etc during war time and not as footballers/players in any tournament at Europe.
He said more than 1200 Tangkhuls volunteered for the Labour Corp, out of which 80-86 persons lost their lives.
He further mentioned that in 1917, Luira (seed sowing) festival was celebrated at Blargies France and as a part of the celebration the Tangkhul community played indigenous games including football among themselves from four different units (48,64,65 and 66) of 22 Manipur company.
He said that the commemoration of the football centenary only for 66th Corp is a complete distortion of history.
Secretary of WW1 TNLCA Zanyo said that the association is all set to commemorate centenary celebration of Tangkhul Labour Corp in 2018 for 2 days at Ukhrul.
According to him, Commonwealth Grave Association has declared 2014- 2018 as the year of centennial anniversary.
He further mentioned that the Association has almost completed the compilation after verifying data.
Heritage Tourism Memorial Park WW1 Tangkhul Naga Labour Corp would be constructed at Hatha village, Ukhrul.
Besides books based on autographical and historical account of WW1 Labour Corp would be released in order to preserve the historical facts and for further research work by the younger generation.