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Dima Halom Daogah factions set to fight for control over new council

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
GUWAHATI: Monday's tripartite agreement among the two factions of the Dima Halom Daogah (DHD) — DHD (Nunisa) and DHD (Jewel) — the Centre and the state governmentis aimed at bringing back peace in the troubled hill district of Dima Hasao. But security agencies think the rivalry between the two factions, which has been one of the causes of bloodshed, is unlikely to subside.

"The rivalry will not go away. The two factions will now be fighting each other to take control of the autonomous council," a source said.

Security agencies are also critical of militant outfits like DHD (Jewel) — which has been charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the CBI of siphoning off development funds to buy weapons and stage war against the country — now seeking general amnesty by signing peace accords. "Peace talks are an effective way for militants to getting out of legal entanglements and this has been the case with many militant outfits in peace process," the source added.

Security agencies also pointed out that a third factor that has a major stake in maintaining peace in the hill district. "One-third of the population of Dima Hasao district comprises non-Dimasa tribal groups, which include Nagas, Kukis and Hmars, principally. All these groups owe allegiance to different militant groups like NSCN, Kuki and Hmar outfits. The memorandum of settlement (MoS) provides for equal benefits to the non-Dimasa tribal groups," the source said.

In the past, the district has seen several bloody ethnic clashes between the various tribal groups residing here. Considering the delicate situation in the district, the MoS has made adequate provisions to keep all sides well balanced.

According to the MoS signed with both the DHD factions, the Rs 200-cr economic package announced will benefit all the communities in the district while increase in the strength of the territorial council will ensure suitable representation of all sections. Besides, the provision for setting up village-level councils for devolution of powers to the grassroots will benefit the non-Dimasa tribals as much as the Dimasas. The MoS specifically states that the heritage sites of non-Dimasa indigenous tribals are to be preserved and maintained.

~Prabin Kalita, TNN

Govt to draw district units

Santanu Ghosh

Silchar, October 9, 2012: Delhi and both the DHD factions have entrusted Dispur with the task of dividing Dima Hasao district into three administrative units.

Talking to The Telegraph from New Delhi last night, Dilip Nunisa, chairman of one of the factions of Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), said the objective of dividing Dima Hasao, which covers 4,880 square km, into three administrative units was to ensure that both hills and plains people get “equal share of opportunities and development” and all the communities living in the district get better representation. At present, the district has two subdivisions, Halflong and Maibong.

Earlier in the day, the two DHD factions, led by Nunisa and Jewel Gorlosa, had signed a tripartite memorandum of settlement with the Centre and the Assam government. The two factions will be disbanded soon.

Nunisa, who is expected to return to Haflong, the district headquarters, tomorrow, said the accord would mark the end of insurgency that had wracked the area since 1993. He guaranteed the more than two lakh people living in the district a new era of peace and development without any discrimination towards any community.

Haflong witnessed subdued celebrations after news of signing of the accord reached the town as a curfew had been clamped on it as a precautionary measure at 1am yesterday. It was lifted at 8am today.

Observers of Dimasa insurgency said the minority ethnic communities in the district like Hmar, Kuki and Jeme Naga should now join the mainstream as they had been promised their own administrative unit under the framework of the Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council, the new name for Dima Hasao Autonomous Council.

The Barman and Hojai communities, offshoots of Dimasa tribal community, living respectively in Cachar and Nagaon districts, who had demanded that their areas on the fringes of these districts be merged with Dima Hasao areas, can also be at peace as there will be separate development councils, funded by Dima Hasao territorial council, for their areas.

Nunisa said he would visit Khaspur village in Cachar district this week to pay homage to the last Dimasa king whose kingdom’s ruins are located there.

Khaspur, on the foothills of Barail range, was the last Dimasa kingdom which was annexed to the British empire in 1832 after the assassination of the last Dimasa king Maharaja Govinda Chandra Narayan in 1830.

~ The Telegraph
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