The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cachar still on the boil

Silchar/Guwahati, April 8: Tension continued to crackle in the twin districts of Cachar and North Cachar Hills after the recovery of an unidentified body today, while the Assembly team that had visited the strife-torn areas blamed both Hmar and Dimasa militants for the ongoing ethnic feud.

The toll in the ethnic riots was revised to 24 after the body of a suspected victim in the massacre on March 31 came floating down the Rukni river, near Monierkhal in Cachar district, this morning.

Section 144 CrPC was clamped in Halflong town as a precautionary step after miscreants set fire to a scooter belonging to a Hmar youth at Longmang village, three km from the district headquarters.

Security was beefed up throughout the district in view of a 12-hour bandh called by the All-Dimasa Students’ Union from 5 am tomorrow.

Nearly 215 Hmar families deserted their homes at Hathikhali and Langting in North Cachar Hills yesterday and made their way to Lumding in adjacent Nagaon district, the police said.

On the other hand, Dimasa organisations today staged a demonstration at the Dispur Last Gate and demanded a judicial inquiry into the “political conspiracy” that led to the massacre last week.

The six Dimasa organisations took part in the demonstration include the All-Dimasa Students’ Union, Dimasa Mahila Samaj, Dimasa Students’ Union, Greater Guwahati Dimasa Kachari Association, Dimasa Students’ Community, Guwahati, and Dimasa Association of Delhi.

Leaders of these organisations claimed that a particular group felt threatened by the success of the peace process involving the Dima Halam Daoga (DHD), the Centre and the state government. They demanded a judicial inquiry by a Supreme Court judge to unearth the “conspiracy” behind the orgy of violence in Cachar and the adjacent North Cachar Hills.

The police have decided to set up two border outposts at Lambabasti on Cachar’s northern flank and at Checkarcham on the south-eastern side to prevent militants from infiltrating the district. Umesh Kumar, a police officer of the rank of deputy inspector general, has already been deputed to adjoining North Cachar Hills to lead the forces deployed there.

The all-party delegation that had toured Cachar district on April 5 and 6 held Dimasa and Hmar militant outfits equally responsible for the loss of lives and property over the past 10 days.

In another development, the Assam government requested Manipur to take back the inmates of the relief camp at Lakhipur Girls High School in Cachar.

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