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Huts torched in Dima Hasao

Saturday, October 15, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
Nagaon/Silchar, October 14, 2011: Militants allegedly belonging to a nascent rebel outfit torched eight huts in a Dimasa village in Dima Hasao just hours after the dramatic gunning down of Dima Halam Daogah leader James Dimasa in Haflong last evening.

A nascent rebel outfit — Hills Tiger Force (HTF) — today claimed responsibility for the killing and arson.

Through a text message, one Lunneh Kuki, who claimed to be the information and publicity secretary of the outfit, informed the media that the outfit was responsible for both the acts. “We, the Hills Tiger Force, have shot James Dimasa and burnt one Dimasa village to protest against the move of the government to sign a peace pact with the DHD outfits in the name of peace in NC Hills,” Kuki said.

According to police sources, a group of 10-12 militants entered the Dimasa-inhabited Chota Langren village — 10 km from Haflong — around 1am last night and torched eight huts.

“The militants directed the villagers to come out before torching their houses. They used fuel to torch the huts and left the basti as soon as all the eight huts had burnt down completely,” a police official said.

According to the Dima Hasao additional superintendent of police (headquarters), S.S. Panesar, nobody was injured in the attack, as the militants had not targeted the villagers. The incidents have triggered fears about another round of ethnic conflict in the hill district.

Jadhike Naishe Hasom, the apex body of the Dimasas in Dima Hasao, has called a 5am-to-5pm bandh tomorrow in protest against last evening’s violence.

The Hills Tiger Force, which was formed a year back to carry out an armed struggle to safeguard the rights of the non Dimasas in Dima Hasao, emerged as an influential outfit in the hill district only a couple of months back.

The outfit was reportedly behind the recent attack on a goods train near Haflong town.

“We think the outfit has cadres hailing from neighbouring Nagaland and Manipur,” another police official said.

Intelligence sources today said the outfit has tacit links with the Hmar People’s Convention (Democrats) and the NSCN (K) and is led by Kamchi Naga.

Last evening’s incidents came after a long lull in violence brought about by the surrender of the DHD (J) on October 2, 2009.

~The Telegraph



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