Aizawl: The two vintage cannons, taken away from Aizawl by the first battalion of the Assam Rifles, would soon be restored to the Mizo people, an official statement said here.
The statement said yesterday that chief minister Lal Thanhawla was given the assurance by the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and the Director General of Assam Rifles Maj Gen R K Lakhanpal in New Delhi that the two cannons used in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 would be returned to Aizawl on or before May 15, 2012.
"The Union Home Minister and DG of the Assam Rifles understood the sentiments of the Mizo people and told Lal Thanhawla during a meeting in Delhi recently that the cannons would be returned soon," the statement said.
INTACH (Mizoram Chapter) has been demanding the return of the two pieces of the historic artillery after the first battalion of the Assam Rifles took them away in 2003 and their absence from the Quarter guard of the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters, after being there for more than a century, was extremely conspicuous.
Earlier, the Union Home Ministry and the Assam Rifles authorities had said that the cannons were war trophies and should be kept by them while the INTACH said that J Shakespear, who displayed the cannons at the quarter guard of the Assam Rifles that time, was a civilian administrator.