(Last Updated on : 21/10/2013)
Sujinphaa, also known as Sur Singha, was the ruler of Ahom kingdom
from 1675 to 1677 AD. He was a Namrupiya king who was coronated by Atan Burhagohain after removing the former king Gobar Roja
and the dismissal of Debera Borbarua from the authority. At the initial stages of his reign he was well supported by the nobles of the kingdom and Atan Burhagohain but later, being influenced by his wife, he started to deny the powers of Burhagohain which resulted in a clash between the two. Atan Burhagohain eventually dismissed the king from the power. As per some sources, Sujinphaa had committed suicide while other sources state that he was murdered by Bhatdhara Phukan. Sujinphaa was known to be peace loving ruler.
Reign of Sujinphaa
Sujinphaa was born to Namrupia Raja Tailai. He was the grandson of Pratap Singha a former Ahom king. He belonged to the Namrupia branch of Ahom dynasty
and was previously known as Arjun Konwar. After becoming the king Sujinphaa, along with Atan Burhagohain got involved in reorganizing the administration of Garhgaon, capital of the kingdom, which had undergone a destabilization in the previous times. He appointed several new officers. The nephews and sons of Baruas and Phukans who were assassinated by Debera were allotted the ranks of Baruas and Phukans by the king.
Conflicts with Atan Burhagohain
The combination of Sujinphaa and Atan Burhagohain's authority and administration was however disliked by a number of nobles and thus they tried to create conflicts between the two. An officer called Lao Barchetia undertook the task of creating a discord between them and manipulated the chief queen of Sujinphaa against Atan Burhagohain by warning her against the dark days that were in store owing to the administration of Burhagohain. The chief queen thus warned her husband against him and the princes also supported her and thus the king's mind began to be poisoned against Atan Burhagohain. Lao Barchetia also employed a female attendant to misguide the king against Burhagohain. Thus with his conspiracies, Lao Barchetia succeeded in creating a breach between the two authorities.
Owing to the conflicts between Sujinphaa and Atan Burhagohain, the former started preparing his army against the later and his supporters. The palace attendants were equipped with shields, bows and arrows at the entrances and four princes of the king took up the responsibility of preparing the army. Actions and movements of Burhagohain were thoroughly watched by the spies. The supporters of Burhagohain however then instigated him to take actions against the plans of Sujinphaa. Initially he was resistant about the idea of attacking the palace or the king, but later on the advice of his supporters, succumbed to their idea. In 1676 AD Atan Burhagohain marched towards the palace and attacked it along with his supporters, well equipped. In their first attack they were defeated by the army of Sujinphaa and Atan Burhagohain escaped to the capital. He later shifted his camp to Dergaon
Negotiations with Atan Burhagohain
After the first defeat, Atan Burhagohain sent to Guwahati
, Dilihial Gohain-Phukan and Ram Tamuli to request the Rajkhowas and Phukans for his help. To this request, the officers stationed at Guwahati responded positively and sent a large army under the leadership of Laluk Sola Borphukan to his camp. Sujinphaa was however keen to re-establish his relations with Atan Burhagohain but the later constantly avoided the king's wishes and refused to meet his officers or himself in person. Gohains were also sent by Sujinphaa to negotiate with Burhagohain with the promise of granting pardon. Burhagohain was suspicious about the king's intentions and thus refused it and also captivated Lao Barchetia.
Battle of Chinatali
After being informed about the developments on Burhagohain's side, Sujinphaa prepared and stationed his forces for the upcoming battle and repaired the Chinatali fort. He also positioned his forces at Gajpur. On the other hand Atan Burhagohain launched his attack on Gajpur. On this encounter, the soldiers stationed at Gajpur fled and joined the army at Chinatali. Atan Burhagohain along with the forces of Laluk Borphukan then attacked Chinatali in which the army of Sujinphaa suffered great casualties. The king then retreated to Singhaduar but the battle continued till the royal forces were completely defeated.
Imprisonment of Sujinphaa
After the defeat, Sujinphaa left the battlefield and reached at a nearby camp. After some time, he left the camp and proceeded further along with his personal attendant, Tamuli and also offered him a reward of cash for that. Sujinphaa later took shelter in his Garhgaon
palace in the company of his wife and children and was being constantly watched by Bhatdhara Phukan. Meanwhile Atan Burhagohain was advised by his supporters to take up the charge of the throne but he refused as he believed that only the members of Ahom dynasty had the right to succeed the throne. This initiated a search for the eligible prince for becoming the king. Burhagohain selected a prince from Charaideo
Hill and installed him on the throne. He was also called as Parvatia Raja and after becoming the king adopted the name Sudoiphaa.
Death of Sujinphaa
After the coronation of the new king, Sudoiphaa and his ministers discussed the dismissal of Sujinphaa. They decided to extract his eye balls and mutilating one of his limbs which would render him incompetent for holding the king's position. For carrying out this plan Bhatdhara Phukan and Betmela Phukan were sent to the palace. After blinding Sujinphaa, a conflict began in which the king died with a gun shot of Bhatdhara Phukan. For killing the king, Bhatdhara Phukan was later dismissed from the office by Atan Burhagohain. Another version states that Sujinphaa committed suicide at the arrival of the officers of Atan Burhagohain.