The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dimasa heat scalds Delhi
- Rebels & students in statehood cry

Silchar/Guwahati, Aug. 4: Another militant group has put Delhi on notice.

The Dima Halam Daoga (DHD) today warned of a return to arms if Delhi did not agree to its demand for a new state of Dimaraji for the Dimasa tribe of Assam by October. “The government of India does not seem to have understood the sentiments of the Dimasa people,” DHD chairman Dilip Nunisa said.

The DHD, which is the dominant militant group of the North Cachar Hills, signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 2003. Its vision of Dimaraji envisages the integration of the Dimasa-inhabited areas of Cachar, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of Assam and Dimapur in Nagaland with the North Cachar Hills.

Nunisa’s warning to Delhi came a day after activists of the Dimasa Students’ Union, some with tonsured heads, staged a demonstration in the capital.

Members of 14 other organisations joined them in yesterday’s demonstration at Jantar Mantar, which recently witnessed a similar protest by Naga students demanding the integration of all Naga-inhabited areas of the Northeast.

The DHD chief said members of his organisation ' about 800 of them are in four designated camps in the North Cachar Hills and adjoining Karbi Anglong ' would return to the jungles if Delhi continued to dither on carving out a state for the Dimasa community.

The organisation’s leadership has been in touch with the Union home ministry through official mediators in Guwahati to fix a date next month for the continuation of tripartite talks.

The dialogue started promisingly, but there was a deadlock the moment DHD leaders said they would not settle for anything less than statehood.

With Delhi simultaneously negotiating with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah), it was unable to make any commitment to the DHD about including parts of Dimapur in Dimaraji.

The DHD claims that Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, belongs to the Dimasas because it was once the capital of the Dimasa kingdom.

Dimapur, close to the Assam-Nagaland border, was the capital of the Dimasa kingdom between the 15th and 16th centuries.

Earlier this year, the DHD accused both Delhi and Dispur of propping up its rival, Black Widow, to weaken the Dimasa tribe’s struggle for a separate state.

Black Widow is led by former DHD leader Jewel Gorlosa, who broke away after being stripped of the rank of the outfit’s commander-in-chief last year.

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