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NCHISF leaders held for extortion charges

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
SILCHAR: Police on Tuesday arrested two North Cachar Hills Indigenous Students' Forum (NCHISF) leaders on the charge of carrying out extortion in Dima Hasao district on Tuesday. They were accused of serving "demand notes" to a number of government departments in the hill district.

Acting on the basis of complaints filed by officials of several government departments and cases filed by police, a team of security forces, led by additional superintendent of police (Dima Hasao) Surjit Singh Panisar, raided the houses of NCHISF president L Lima Kevom and general secretary Seimingthang Thangew in Haflong and arrested them around 4 am.

A police officer in Haflong, the headquarters of Dima Hasao district, said the two student leaders were being interrogated in the Haflong police station.

The officer added that the NCHISF leaders were accused of slapping demand notes on the offices of various government departments.

In their demand notes, Kevom and Thangew had sought amounts ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 "to carry on their agitation for the bifurcation of Dima Hasao district". The NCHISF leaders urged the government departments "to hand over the amounts within July 31.

Following the receiving of the demand notes, officials of the government departments including DDK, Haflong, fisheries, PHE brought the matter to the notice of the police. On basis of the complaints police registered a case against the student leaders.

NCHISF and some other tribal organizations have been agitating for past more than one year in the form of bandhs, rallies, dharna, rail and road blockade seeking bifurcation of Dima Hasao district between the Dimasas and the non-Dimasa tribal communities.

NCHISF demands that Dimasa-dominated Maibang sub-division should be made a separate district as Dima Hasao, and there should be another district comprising of Haflong sub-division and it should be known as North Cachar Hills. The demand was raised after Assam government on April 1 last year changed the name of NC Hills to Dima Hasao against the will of the non-Dimasa tribal communities living in the district.

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