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Thursday, October 4, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
Zeliangrong Baudi (Assam, Manipur & Nagaland) has warned of mass social unrest and civil war in the erstwhile NC Hill area, Assam, if the Government of India and Assam government conceded to the “Territorial Council” demand of the Dimasa people. Addressing media persons here at Hotel Regency Tuesday afternoon, ZB (AM & N) officials and Zeme organizations including ZB (AM&N) president, Raitu Chawang; ZB (AM&N) vice president D Atong; Zeme Council (North East India) president Ngauputlak Heu; Zeme Council (Nagaland) president & VP ZB (Nagaland), Raitu Elu and Nsong-Kebai Public Organisation president, Iluilung, expressed apprehension on the proposed October 6 tripartite agreement to be signed between the GoI, Assam Government and Dimasas on formation of territorial council.

Alleging that both GoI and Assam government have ignored the genuine grievances of the original and first inhabitants of NC Hills to appease a minority community, ZB officials reminded that the Zeme Nagas followed by Hmars and Kukis were the first settlers of NC Hills, which could be proven by historical facts and records. “As per census, the Dimasa people comprises only 35% population of NC Hills while other communities including Zeme, Kuki and Hmar make up for 65%. Then why is the Centre and Assam Government only trying to appease only the Dimasa. We are not against Dimasas’ demand, but if the governments concede to their demand, then they (GoI and Assam) should also agree to the demand of the Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF) comprising of Zeme, Hmar and Kuki for a separate autonomous district council”, the ZB officials asserted.

Cautioning that both Centre and Assam government would be held solely responsible for any fallout, ZB (AM&N) also declared that it would extend all support to the IPF in their fight for justice and equal treatment. The IPF has reportedly taken serious notice to the proposed “territorial council”, especially after the Assam government renamed NC Hills district as “Dima Hasao” and is apprehensive that once the “territorial council” demand is met, then Dimasas would exert their influence in areas dominated by Zemes, Kukis and Hmars. According to ZB members, the IPF has geared up to oppose the Dimasa demand tooth and nail, even to extent to taking up arms. ZB (AM&N) president Raitu Chawang disclosed that during a joint meeting with IPF delegation in Guwahati on Monday last (Oct 1), the latter conveyed that IPF was ready to retaliate and strike, if necessary, if the Centre and Assam did not heed to the voice of the majority.

ZB officials also briefed and clarified on the 48 hour bandh in NC Hills imposed by IPF on September 27 and 28 to protest the proposed “territorial council.” ZB said that while the IPF bandh passed off peacefully the first day, the second witnessed violence when IPF volunteers went to enquire as to why the Veterinary office at Halflong, the district headquarters, was open despite the bandh. “When two of our volunteers went to enquire, they were assaulted by former DHD (Jewel) cadres in full view of the police including OC Halflong. Later, a Zeme lady and well-known social worker Mrs. Kirangle who went to amicably settle the matter was also grievously injured by the former DHD cadres. Right now three of them have been shifted to Guwahati Medical College. Mrs. Kirangle is in critical condition and in ICU”, ZB officials said.
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