Regular-article-logo Thursday, 28 September 2023

Peace rally seeks united district

The rally was organised by All Apex Bodies Coordination Committee and students organisation of Dima Hasao

Suroj Barman Haflong Published 17.02.20, 06:48 PM
A participant holds a placard during the peace rally in Haflong on Monday.

A participant holds a placard during the peace rally in Haflong on Monday. Picture by Suroj Barman

Thousands of people from Dima Hasao district on Monday took out a rally here against the proposed division of Dima Hasao district — for Dimasas and non-Dimasas — by the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum (IPF).

The rally was organised by the All Apex Bodies Coordination Committee and students organisations of the district.


“We want to convey to the state government that Dima Hasao district should not be divided or bifurcated on communal lines. Thirteen tribal and six non-tribal communities live here and we want peace to prevail. We urge the state government to take strict action against those who try to spread hatred on communal lines. Some organisations recently called a bandh though Gauhati High Court and the Supreme Court have declared bandhs an unlawful act. Several private and government properties were damaged in the bandh,” the general secretary of the Dimasa Students Union, Pramith Sengyung, said.

“We have been living peacefully since decades and all communities enjoying the same rights according to the Constitution. Bifurcation will bring unrest,” said Ringmila Hojai, a participant in the rally.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma through Dima Hasao deputy commissioner Amitabh Rajkhowa urging him not to bifurcate the district.

The memorandum said the demands of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum (IPF) to create a separate autonomous district is neither acceptable nor supported by 85 per cent of the total population of the district.

The IPF has been demanding a separate district since the renaming of North Cachar Hills to Dima Hasao in March 2010. The state government in August 2010 constituted the task force under the chairmanship of former state chief secretary P.P. Verma to examine the recommendations for a separate district. The task force submitted its report on November 16, 2011, and suggested the creation of a separate autonomous district for the non-Dimasas.

On February 11, the IPF called an indefinite bandh in Dima Hasao. It was lifted after the state government invite the forum for talks into their demands.

During the bandh, IPF supporters torched government vehicles and damaged another police vehicle and threw stones at the council office building. A peace committee was constituted under the initiative of the Dima Hasao administration in a meeting with all apex bodies of all communities here on Thursday.

The police have stepped up security and two additional security forces have been deployed in the district.

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