Center signs tripartite accord with top leaders of both DHD factions

Beginning a new chapter in the political history in Dima Hasao district of Assam, the Centre struck a peace truce with both DHD factions on Monday.

The tripartite accord was signed at a crucial round of talks in New Delhi in presence of union home minister Sushil Kumar Sindhe, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and top leaders of both DHD factions. The truce paves the way for a new autonomous council under the Sixth Schedule covering 3 districts.

The autonomous body is set to get 39 subjects in the hills district. Later talking to reporters, Gogoi said called it a red letter day. He hoped that the truce would help the hill district restore permanent peace where the non Dimasa people would also get same privilege. But the pact evokes stiff protest from the non Dimasa people.

The move to sign the MoU has been opposed by the other indigenous non-Dimasa communities of the district like the Kukis, Hmars, Jeme Nagas, Wrangkhols, Baites and others. Several organisations of these non-Diamsa communities—Indigenous Peoples’ Forum (IPF), the Indigenous Students’ Forum (ISF) and others have also threatened to launch massive movements if non-Dimasa communities inhabited areas are included under the purview of the new territorial autonomous council, which will be created in Dima Hasao after signing of the MoU. – Prime News Tv

Accord with Assam’s Dimasa rebels may run into rough weather

By Prasanta Mazumdar | Place: GUWAHATI | Agency: DNA

As the Centre gets set to sign an accord with Assam’s Dimasa rebels, there are worries that while the accord will solve one problem, it will create another. Even the Union home ministry has not ruled it out. Sources in the ministry said the proposed accord might lead to aggravation of the situation in Dima Hasao district.
On Sunday evening, a day before the accord is to be signed, three explosions rocked Halflong in the Dima Hasao district. There were no causalities in the three grenade attack.

The erstwhile NC Hills (now Dima Hasao) district was held to ransom by the Dimasa rebel group Dima Halam Daoga for a long time. The rebels hung up guns a few years ago that led to the return of peace in the district. The accord is an outcome of a series of dialogues held between the government and the rebels.
However, many in Assam believe that the accord could be counter-productive. Non-Dimasas such as the Nagas, the Kukis and the Hmars are so opposed to the accord that they spearheaded a series of protests in recent times. Non-Dimasas argue that the Dimasas make up only 43% of the district’s population and as such, their views alone must not hold sway.

The views of the non-Dimasas are that the land inhabited by their people should be kept outside the purview of the proposed council, likely to be named either Dimaraji Territorial Council or Dima Hasao Territorial Council. They also demand the creation of a separate district for non-Dimasas.

That the accord would only stir up a hornet’s nest could be gauged from the silence maintained by senior government officials. “I cannot comment on things that are in the process. I can only comment on the outcome,” Assam’s home secretary GD Tripathi told DNA.

The Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF), a protesting group representing non-Dimasa communities, was optimistic that the government would address their concerns. “All we want is that areas inhabited by our people should be kept outside the purview of the proposed territorial council,” IPF leader L Hlima Keivom said. He added: “If the government goes ahead with the signing of the accord, we will have no option than to chalk out our next course of action”.

Dima Hasao Autonomous Council will be upgraded to a territorial council if the accord sees the light of the day.It will also ensure flow of more funds to the council.

The rebels demanded the inclusion of 94 contiguous villages with the district by carving them out of Nagaon, Cachar and Karbi Anglong districts. But after the talks, it now appears that villages located within a distance of 10km from the existing boundary will be incorporated. -DNA

Naga bodies threaten stir over Dimasa territorial council

DIMAPUR: Naga organizations in Dima Hasao district of Assam have threatened to launch a massive protest against the Centre and Assam government if the latter favours the creation of a territorial council as demanded by DHD (J) and DHD.

“If the demand of the Dimasas is accepted by the Centre and Assam government, there will be turmoil and civil war,” warned president of Zeliangrong Baudi (Assam, Nagaland & Manipur) Raitu Chawang.

Chawang told TOI on Wednesday that the Dimasas are going to sign an agreement in New Delhi on October 6 regarding formation of the ‘territorial council’. “If this council is given to the Dimasas, the Nagas are prepared to retaliate. There will be a civil war and both the Centre and Assam government will have to take responsibility,” he added.

He claimed that Naga organizations had called a bandh in the district in protest against the demand for creation of a territorial council by the Dimasas, but there was violence in which 10 Nagas were injured by the Dimasas.

He said the Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF) is opposed to the demands of the Dimasas and are favouring a separate autonomous council in the areas. He said NC Hills, now called Dima Hasao, originally belongs to Zeme Nagas who were the first occupants of the land, followed by Hmars and Kukis. The Dimasas came to the area after that.

“The Dimasas want to become land owners and are staking claim on NC Hills. But historical facts state that Zemes were the first settlers in the land,” said Chawang. He added that Zeliangrong Baudi (AMN) is fully supporting the IPF demand for an autonomous council and is ready to give any kind of contribution. He claimed that IPF has the support of 65 per cent of the population of Dima Hasao, while Dimasas enjoy only 35 per cent support. -Times of India