Six top cadres of DNLA killed in Assam encounter
At least six Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) cadres were killed in a joint operation carried out by Assam Rifles and Assam police in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Sunday early morning, dealing a crippling blow to the outfit formed before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to secure a separate Dimaraji state for the Dimasa community.
The counter-insurgency operation, codenamed Operation Dugudisha, was the biggest such strike carried out under the re-elected BJP-led government in the state which has made lasting peace a priority.
The BJP-led coalition assumed power for the second straight time on May 10.
The encounter took place in the Dugudisha area under the Dhansiri police station in Karbi Anglong district bordering Dimapur district of Nagaland.
Although Karbi Anglong Police said six DNLA cadres were neutralised and their bodies recovered, sources said two injured rebels might have also died after crossing over to Nagaland.
The site of the encounter is about 50 km from the district headquarters Diphu.
“Six listed top cadres of DNLA in Karbi Anglong District were neutralised when they fired at a joint team of @assampolice and #AssamRifles during an anti-terror operation. DNLA has been involved in kidnapping, extortion, killing etc. which are not tolerated in Assam. @official_dgar,” Assam DGP B.J. Mahanta had tweeted.
A security personnel was injured but was out of danger, he said.
Sources cited the killings of Amit Nunisa, a former leader of the disbanded Dima Halam Daogah outfit, on January 27, and Sanjoy Ronghang, a priest, on May 19, could be one of the reasons for the lethal strike.
Both the killings took place under the Dhansiri police station and both the victims were quite popular.
“Nunisa always stood by the local populace whenever there was tension in the Assam-Nagaland border.
“The security personnel had prior information about the movement of the DNLA cadres through the forested area. It was well executed operation,” one of them said.
A huge cache of weapons was recovered, including AK series rifles, .303 and small arms, grenades and ammunition, from the site of the encounter.
Sources said the DNLA would find it difficult to revive itself.
“It is a small group and several of their key members have either surrendered or perished. As many as 13 joined the mainstream in 2020. Reports suggest one of the two bodies yet to be recovered could be of a senior leader. Only the chairman Eitka Dipusa is left now,” the source said.
“Security personnel had prior information about the movement of the DNLA cadres through the forested area. It was well executed operation,” one of them said.
The names of the six deceased militants are Action Dimasa, Joreng Dimasa alias Tamil, Amarjeet alias Rounder, Nikhen alias Dhadkan, Balnes alias Zingdao, Pritam alias Nawa.
Saindesh Ardao, president of the Jadikhe Naisho Hosom, the apex body of Dimasa organisations, reacting to the encounter, said they have heard about the encounter.
“We are for peace. This group was active in Karbi Anglong. We have nothing to say if they were extremists. If the deceased include any innocent we will surely stand up for them,” he said.
Insurgency in neighbouring Dima Hasao district has been on the wane since the disbanding of the Dima Halam Daogah in 2013 during the tenure of the then Tarun Gogopi-led Congress government.