Refugees of the ZEME community in Tamenglong :: 2009
- fled away from North Cachar Hills -

12th April, 2009

SUBJECT : Refugees of the ZEME community who fled away from North Cachar Hills in Assam to Tamenglong district, in Manipur.

In the late 90's an arm group insurgent based in North Cachar Hills (Haflong District) erupted mainly for demanding their separate Homeland as well as to grant an autonomous council. As a consequence of these, DHD ( DIGON HALAM DIMASA ) was formed. After some couples of year the DHD splits into two Groups . The group leaded by one leader Mr. Jewel came to be known as DHD(Jewel)and its arm unit known as BLACK WIDOW. The other led by Mr.Dilip was known as DHD (Dilip). The later one is ongoing peacetalk with the Indian Government.

The Dimasa are about 50,000/- in population, the Zeme population is around 25,000/- approx. and the Ruangmei is around 1,500/-. Others minority inhabitants im the North Cachar Hills includes Khasi,Kuki,Hmar and Paite etc. There are about more than 70 villages of Zeme in the North Cachar Hills .

The escalation of the violence erupted suddenly at the beginning of early months of '2009'. There are about 23 persons confirmed dead and many more casualties in the confrontation between Dimasa and Zeme community.

About 15 Black widow fully arms cadres came into the Chureluwa Village and asks for the food and clothing to spent the night in this village. And in the early morning the arm wing of the DHD, also known as the Black Widow forcefully took five persons from the village to lead and show the actual route out from this village in these hilly regions. But after a few hours they killed the five persons from this village.

So, from this incident there was a chaos in the Zeme community village and as a result of it the children , the women and the young ,old housewives deserted their own village and fled from there randomly to the neighbouring states and places where they can take refuge and live safely. This inevitable mass migration was started from around first week of January~ 2009'.

The young youths,the elderly people and only few of the villagers refuge to fled away from there and they wanted to defend their villages and their lands at their own risk , even if they die they will defend their forefathers land and face the consequences of what may happen regardless of their fates.

After 2001' election for the Autonomous Council in Halflong, all of sudden the violence and the confrontation of the two major communities between Dimasa and the Zeme escalated. The name of the district of Halflong originated from the Zeme dialect, so the Dimasa are demanding to the Govt. of Assam to change the name of the district to DIMASARAJ in the North Cachar Hills.

Those who fled from the Halflong came all way to Phoklong, a small village in the border between Assam and Manipur. But the geographical boundary is in Manipur. From there they came to Tousem and Mandiu in the Tamenglong District of Manipur.

There are roughly about 300 refugees in Tousem sub-division and around 200 at Mandiu. The refugees camp were mostly taken care by members and volunteers of Zeliarong Students Union (ZSU) and Zeliarong Union (ZU), Assam, Manipur, Nagaland .

The DC of Tamenglong are one of the few person to come and gave aid for the Refugee Camps in person. He had immediately sanctioned around 75 quintals of foodgrains, some medical aids, clothings , Lanterns and kerosines. The Assam Rifles also gave some medicines and medical aid to these camps. Till now some NGO's organization had volunteer themselves and rush to these Refugees Camp from Imphal, such as the AMADA and some other NGO's.

The ZU had already given a memorandum to the Chief Minister to immediately sanction some required aids and foodgrains as soon as possible. But till now the Govt. had not done quite impressive required supplies and commodities in a very swift way. There is also fears of spreading many diseases due to poor sanitation and the living conditions in those camps.

So the ZSU, wants to appeal to the Government Authorities to act fastly, not to spread the diseases in time. So, medical departments and staffs are required to come in this camps and help them control it, otherwise there is a possibilities of breaking out an epidemic in these regions. There are reports of some of the children, womenfolks and others in this camps suffering from some communicable diseases and reports of having measles,chicken pox,fever , diarrhea, and dysentery etc.

So, in the interest of the human mankind and those who are suffering in these refugee camps must be given the necessary items and goods in time in these wee hours by the Government Authorities as soon as possible for the sake of humanity race .

Yours sincerely,
Roshan Naorem
Free - Lance Correspondent

This information is courtesy of Roshan Naorem, Free - Lance Correspondent . He can be contacted at ruckson23(at)yahoo(dot)com
This was webcasted on April 13th 2009

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