Nagaon, Nov. 26: The Joel Gorlosa-led faction of Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) was formally disbanded today after a 15-year-long insurgency and a new front, the DHD-J Welfare Society, was floated.
Gorlosa told reporters during a 10-minute briefing at the last conclave of the outfit’s leaders in Haflong, the district headquarters of Dima Hasao, that they had resolved to dissolve the DHD (J) and float a new group in the form of a non-governmental organisation. “The new social organisation will work for the greater interest of the people living in Dima Hasao district. But we are yet to form its executive body,” he added.
More than a hundred DHD (J) cadres gathered at Sarkari Bagan, where the outfit’s liaison office in located in Haflong since it laid down arms in 2009. Gorlosa, chairman of DHD (J), and the outfit’s commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai were present at the conclave throughout the day.
Gorlosa said some leaders of the now dissolved outfit, including Hojai, would contest the district autonomous council election but they were yet to chalk out a strategy.
Confirming this, Hojai told The Telegraph over phone that he and a few other DHD (J) leaders had already decided to join active politics. “But we are yet to decide whether we will float a party or contest as Independents. Hopefully, all this would be finalised soon.”
Gorlosa took to the path of militancy in 1992 when he joined the Dimasa National Security Force, which was leading an armed struggle for a separate homeland for the Dimasas. After the DNSF disbanded in 1995, Gorlosa, by then its self-styled commander-in-chief, floated the DHD as its chairman in 1996.
The DHD leadership signed a ceasefire in 2003 but ideological differences surfaced and Gorlosa was ousted from the DHD in January 2004. He formed the DHD (J) in August that year. His faction laid down arms on October 2, 2009.
On October 8 this year, the DHD (J) and the DHD faction led by Dilip Nunisa signed a tripartite memorandum of settlement with Delhi and Dispur for upgrading the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council into an autonomous territorial council.
The Nunisa faction plans to disband itself in a colourful “homecoming ceremony” next month in the presence of representatives from New Delhi and Dispur. It is hoping that the territorial council bill will be passed in Parliament by then.
The group had recently submitted a three-point memorandum to Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, demanding that the bill be passed in the winter session of Parliament and the district council election held on time.
Leaders of Nunisa faction plan to contest the polls as well. Said Nunisa, “It is the people of Dima Hasao who will take the decision. On the day of homecoming ceremony we will invite all sections of people from all communities and ask them to show us the next route. We must seriously consider the views of the people for whom we have been struggling,” thus hinting that politics was an option for leaders of his faction too.
LONG ROAD TO PEACE
1996: Joel Gorlosa floats Dima Halam Daogah (DHD)
June 24, 2004: Gorlosa ousted from DHD l2004: DHD (J) is born
June 11, 2009: Gorlosa arrested in Bangalore
October 2, 2009: DHD (J) lays down arms
July 2, 2010: Commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai arrested
October 8, 2012: MoS signed with Centre, Assam government
November 26, 2012: Disbands, floats DHD-J Welfare Society