Friday, July 15, 2011

Dacoits loot passengers of Cachar Express

SILCHAR: A number of passengers of the Lumding-Silchar Cachar Express were robbed at a place between Lower Haflong and Bagetar stations Dima Hasao district early on Wednesday. At least 25 people, including five women, were injured when the miscreants beat them up. The condition of two among them is serious. 

Sources said around 2.45 am on Wednesday, a group of dacoits with their faces covered barged into Coach No. S-6 with sharp weapons and some others went to the general compartment. They looted around 100 passengers in both the compartments. 

"Soon after the train left Lower Haflong station, the miscreants knocked at the door of one of the compartments and a passenger allowed them in. At first, they switched off the lights and started beating up the passengers to terrorize them. Then they took away cash, gold ornaments, mobile phones and clothes from them. They got down before the train reached the next station", said one of the passengers. 

While the injured passengers were treated at Badarpur Railway Hospital after the train reached there in the morning, two other critical ones were sent to Silchar Medical College Hospital. 

The duo has been identiified as K Liapen (26), a BSF official posted in Manipur, and Sampat Roy (23), a resident of Amraghat in Cachar district. Sources said Liapen was later flown to a BSF hospital in Imphal. 

"The dacoits snatched away my earrings and chains," said Prabha Devnath, a passenger and resident of Badarpur. The passengers filed an FIR with the GRP at Badarpur. Money and materials to the tune of Rs 5 lakh was looted," a source said. 

A GRP officer said a raid has been conducted in the adjoining area with the help of Dima Hasao Police but no one has been arrested yet. The Haflong-Silchar section of the NF Railway frequently witnesses such incidents of decoities.

Dimasa-Kachari community carries out mass social work

Volunteers are seen removing the outgrowths of shrubs and grass at the Kachari Rajbari, Dimapur on Saturday, July 9. (Morung Photo)
DIMAPUR, JULY 9 (MExN): The Dimasa-Kachari community of Dimapur carried out a mass social work at the Kachari Rajbari on Saturday, July 9. Sited near the Naga Shopping Arcade, the ancient ruins were once the seat of the Kachari Kingdom.
Owing to total negligence, the archaeological relic is now facing the threat of extinction from the effects of the elements as well as human influence. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is responsible for the protection and maintenance of the site, which is also listed as a ‘protected monument’.  The community today expressed dismay at the rather step-motherly treatment meted out to the site of historical importance by the ASI. Repeated appeals in the recent past made to the ASI for its proper upkeeping and protection has come to naught, they said.
During July last year, an official of the ASI based in Guwahati when contacted by this daily had assured to take up restoration works once the rainy season was over. But that assurance, it seems never saw the light of day.
The Kachari Rajbari Preservation Committee had also submitted a representation for provision of beautification, preservation, garden maintenance, security personnel and an office building with research facility to the governor, Nikhil Kumar when he made a visit to the site last year. The governor that time had expressed dismay over the almost non-existent maintenance of the ruins.
Thick outgrowth of grass and shrubs has blanketed the site. The negligence of the responsible agency notwithstanding, the community carried a clean up drive, trying to remove the outgrowths with the basic of implements today.  

Nagaland rebels sneak into Dima Hasao district

A group of 25-30 NSCN (IM) cadres has reportedly sneaked into southern Assam's Dima Hasao district from neighbouring Nagaland. This came to light following the arrest of two members of the militant outfit in Haflong on Wednesday night.
Acting on a tip-off, security forces raided Longme and Suratnagar villages near Haflong, the headquarters of Dima Hasao district, on Wednesday night and arrested the two self-styled senior sergeant majors of NSCN (IM) - W A Amos, alias Momo Anal (39), and Thuingalen Sira, alias Aleng (49) - a senior police officer said on Thursday. No arms or ammunitions were found on them, sources said.
During interrogation, the two militants revealed that a group of 30 NSCN(IM) cadres entered Dima Hasao from Nagaland and Manipur recently. They also confessed to the group carrying sophisticated arms and ammunition with them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Haflongbar loses Dima Hasao chair - Congress begins internal crackdown

Guwahati/Nagaon, July 2: The ruling Congress has quietly launched an internal crackdown on leaders and members who indulged in anti-party activities during the recently concluded Assembly elections.
Though the party managed to register a thumping victory and wrangled 78 out of the 126 Assembly seats, some leaders like the Dima Hasao DCC president, Samarjeet Haflongbar, openly pursued a personal agenda at the cost of party interests.
Haflongbar has become the first casualty of the crackdown and has been replaced by Nalendra Karigapsa, a leader allegedly close to former president of the DCC G.C Langthasa, a PCC vice-president and six-time MLA from Haflong. The development has, allegedly, also strengthened Langthasa’s grip on the DCC.
Karigapsa was with the BJP before joining the Congress.
Though an Assam PCC release issued last evening said state unit president Bhubaneswar Kalita had reconstituted the Dima Hasao DCC by replacing Haflongbar with Karigapsa on June 27 in the “greater interest” of the organisation in the district, sources said the change of guard was due because of mounting complaints against Haflongbar from within the party.
Assam PCC sources in Guwahati said the common complaints were that he had worked against Langthasa in the elections; he spent more time in Guwahati than in the district and had not taken measures to improve the health of the party.
Rana Khan, PCC secretary in-charge of the district, said Karigapsa had been appointed as the interim president and would be under observation. “We will watch his performance before deciding on his continuance or replacement,” he said.
The development comes ahead of the August 18 byelections to one of the 28 constituencies of the district autonomous council, which is now headed by the Congress.
Haflongbar, however, has moved the Assam PCC president seeking a review of the decision.
He said he had become a victim of a conspiracy hatched by a section of his party workers with vested interests. “I have not received the order replacing me till now. Had I been asked to resign, I might have done that willingly, as the party’s interest is above all for me,” he said.
The senior politician, who represented Haflong Assembly constituency as ASDC legislator from 1996 to 2001, joined the Congress in 2007.
He was appointed as the district unit chief in 2008.
Haflongbar was one of the two Congress candidates elected to the district autonomous council election in 2007.
After the arrest of chief executive member Mohit Hojai, Haflongbar took over as the in-charge CEM till Devajeet Thausan replaced him a year later.
PCC sources said the four-day wait by the leadership before making the decision public showed it did not want to attract “undue” attention. “It was quiet all this while because it wanted to test the reactions of district party leaders who supported the move. We wanted things to settle down before the formal announcement was made,” one of them said.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Naga - Dimasa conflict

Mithu Choudhury 

The tribal Dimasas have been inhabitants of the land in and around the Dhansiri river since quite long. However the demarcation of the state boundary after the formation of the Nagaland state meant that the contiguous population of the Dimasas and their land across river Dhansiri got divided between Assam and Nagaland.

For those Dimasas whose fate got sealed in Nagaland, life has had been far from normal . Hajadisa is such a village in the Nagaland side where the inhabitant Dimasa population is continuously facing harassment for almost two decades now with the situation particularly plummeting for the worse this year due to continuous encroachment and grabbing of their land .

At the present moment the situation in Hajadisa village is tense following attack and alleged destruction of properties and houses by youths from Khekiho village under Dhansiripar sub-division of Dimapur on 16th and 17th of this month.

Most of the Hajadisa villagers , including the ones who have been directly targeted , refuse to speak and tell the harrowing story of the harassment and torture that they are subjected to out of sheer fear. It was the Chairman of Hajadisa Village Council, Robin Langthasa who spoke up on behalf of his villagers.

He said that around 10 to 15 youths from Khekiho village came to Hajadisa on June 16 last at 7.30 p.m. and beat up Manen Langthasa, the VCM of the village. On June 17, around 30 to 40 youths of Khekiho village came and attacked the villagers and destroyed the household materials worth Rs 10 lakhs, besides taking away valuable goods such as motorcycles and cash amounting around Rs 60,000, he stated.

The Village Council Chairman(VCC) alleged that since the establishment of Khekiho village in 1992, the Khekiho villagers have been encroaching the land of Hajadisa village, which is going on unabated till date.

“The Hajadisa Village Council has been complaining against illegal encroachment to the district administration again and again but so far no concrete action has been taken by the authorities,” the VC Chairman alleged.

Narrating the series of incidents in Hajadisa village, the VC Chairman said that on April 26th last, a group of people numbering around 90 from Khekiho village forcefully ploughed a portion of land belonging to Devo and Subendra of Hajadisa and planted turmeric. “To add to the woes and resentment of our humble people, the Head GB of Khekiho village obstructed the ongoing construction of Hajadisa Village Gate and physically assaulted the artisans,” he said. The Chairman further said that some of the Hajadisa villagers were later falsely implicated on charge of having attempted to take the GB’s life and the matter was reported to the police for which they were summoned and interrogated on June 7.

The VCC said that despite several complaints to the ex-Minister and present Rajya Sabha MP, Khekiho Zhimomi for settlement of the said issue, they have not received any positive response so far.

The desperation of the Naga victimizers is clearly showing this month with stepped up targeting of the Dimasas in Hajadisa . On 11th June , around 5 persons came to meet the VCC of Hajadisa and later went to two residences of Bodo Kacharis, who are permanent inhabitants of the village , and warned them to vacate the land and move to their own native place within June 15th by falsely impressing that the plots have been bought by the Khekiho village.

Again on June 12th , around 8 persons arrived at Hajadisa and pelted stones on the light bulbs and destroyed the existing drinking ring well without any reason. Even on June 18th last, around 10 to 12 persons from Khekiho village came on an auto rickshaw and beat up 5 persons, informed Langthasa.

“These incidents of obstructing the gate construction, repeated land encroachment and physical harassment to the villagers by them clearly indicates the motive that they have the single minded intention to drive away the Hajadisa villagers and grab the entire village ,” the Chairman said.

The Village Council has made an appeal to the law enforcing agencies to intervene and settle the matter at the earliest. It has also appealed to all the right thinking and likeminded citizens, unions and organizations to condemn such inhuman acts and torture directed at the Hajadisa villagers. It is lear nt that an FIR has been lodged with the police by the Hajadisa Village Council in this connection.

Although the Hajadisa villagers cannot speak up openly for fear , but through media sources in Nagaland it has come to light that Khekiho is actually Rajya Sabha MP, Khekiho Zhimomis village and he is the one who is masterminding these offences by instigating the Naga youths to attack the Dimasa villagers of Hajadisa.

The Dima Halam Daogah(DHD), the Dimasa group in ceasefire now with the Govt of India, has also leveled the same allegation. It is apparent that the main ambition behind such eviction is to forcefully and illegally occupy the agricultural land property of the Dimasa villagers who are the rightful owners .

The Nagas have been illegally occupying the land property of the Dimasa villagers in these areas since long back. The minority Dimasa villagers, numbering around 500, who are Hindu by religion , are being tortured & evicted by majority Nagas who are Christian by faith .Interestingly, the Hebron camp of the NSCN –IM lies very close to this place…...one hopes that there is nothing more to it than mere geographical proximity.

The Peoples’ Supreme Council of Dimaraji, Dima Halam Daogah (DHD)/Sengya Bojhom through an issued release have strongly condemned the ruthless attack on the rural poor agriculturists of Dimasa village of Hajadisa by a group of Naga youths, particularly the one that happened on the night of June 17th .

The release issued by the organization’s publicity secretary, Ringbar Diphusa stated that more than 15 houses of the villagers were broken and evicted while one elderly Dimasa woman was injured. The firings by the Naga miscreants are still continuing in the nearby areas to threaten Dimasa villagers, charge the DHD.

Alleging that the ambition behind such eviction is to forcefully and illegally occupy the agricultural land property of the villagers, the DHD claimed that despite several complaints, the Government of Nagaland has not taken any action to check such illegal atrocities.

The DHD also rued the inaction on the part of the Central Govt and urged the concerned authorities to take prompt action to stop such illegal human activities.

One might recollect that just a couple of years back bloody clashes had broken out in NC Hills dist (now Dima Hasao)of Assam between the local Dimasas and the Jemi Nagas ,who are settled there since a long time. 

Student leaders held for extortion charges

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.