DHD-N public meeting at Haflong
Source: Mithu Choudhury *

Imphal, October 17 2012: DHD-N held a huge public meeting at Haflong on 11th October that was significantly attended by many nonDimasa leaders and members of the nonDimasa commmunity in celebration and support of the recent Accord with the Govt of India.

Defying heavy rains a gathering of about 2000 people attended as Dilip Nunisa addressed his first public gathering after returning back to Haflong the previous night.

Members of the Hmar, Baite, Gorkha, Wrangkhwal, Zemi Naga amongst others congratulated both factions of the DHD for getting the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council.

However, some of the elders of the Dimasa community itself were candid enough to admit that although two leaders of the Dimasas, Dilip and Jewel, together signed the pact but the actual bonding was still missing between the two outfits.

No DHD-J member were present in the rally .

President of Jadioka Naiso Hosom , Jethang Naiding was also present and he said that he hoped this will augur a new future for the Dima Haso district and all its communities.

Dilip Nunisa
Dilip Nunisa

However, the cloud over IPF, the conglomerate of nonDimasa bodies opposing the Dimasa movement, hung on the meeting .

Dilip Nunisa himself tried to convince hard that though the district is named after the Dimasas due to the historical significance but the signing of the present Accord in getting the Council will provide equal opportunities and meet aspirations of all communities, nonDimasas alike.

He also time and again drew credit towards Jewel Garlosa and his long struggle and equal efforts to achieve the Territorial Council.

Significantly the meeting also proved that getting the Autonomous Council is not an end in itself .

Many of the participants still talked of the ultimate aspiration of a separate state and Dilip Nunisa imself openly endorsed it , saying, " We have just taken one step forward towards it" .

Dilip Nunisa, in one to one interview with this Correspondent at the DHD Liasion office in Haflong , said that the IPF claim that the Dimasas are pocketing all benefits in the district sidelining the non-Dimasas, is baseless.

He said that the tribal Dimasas are as much deprived ands at the receiving end as any other community/tribe in the district.

He blamed the Council leaders as well as the State Govt for rampant corruption and gross under development in the district.

He said the IPF movement is actually a ''political conspiracy'' against the Dimasas.

" Why didn't the IPF leaders raise a single voice against corruption and 1000 crore scam.

They should blame the politicians and the bureaucrats for the state of affairs rather than wasting their energy pointing fingers to the Dimasas for all their troubles.

Nunisa said that he will see to it that the 200crore is spent well.

He talked of building a Dimasa Bhawan in Delhi and a helipad in Haflong as one of DHD-N 's immediate dream/plan.

'' The Accord talks of roads and bridges to be built in all villages and not only Dimasa areas.

Similarly all villages will be electrified." '' The Dimasa by majority and by their history are the leading community and the main tribe.

It is mandatory that the Dimasas look after and take care of all the non-Dimasa brothers who reside in the district.'', said Nunisa.

He again reiterated that the DHD-N hasn't given up its dream of realising a separate state of Dimaraji.

He said that 59 Dimasa organisations are still unified in purpose for the realisation of Dimaraji sometime in the future.

He also expressed his strong feeling against the Dimasas being called by different names in different areas outside the Dima Hasao district and said that they should all be binded by one Council and one name.

Jethang Naiding , President of Jadiko Naiso Hosom(JNH) talking with this Correspondent at his office launched a strong attack on IPF and ISF, particularly the ISF President Atheng Luiengthang .

" Atheng was himself in the Council.

He has his vested agenda.

Most of the ISF fellows are from outside .

They are only fomenting trouble here.

The regular bandh calls, rallies and dharnas is causing immense harassment to the public.", he said.

He accepted that the two DHD factions are still not close together even after signing the accord jointly but said that it will happen with time.

" In an arranged marriage , though the man and woman comes together on the wedding day but it takes time for the understanding to forge.", he said.

Like Dilip Nunisa he also advocated unification of all Dimasas.

" Socially the Dimasa Kacharis, Barman Kacharis, Hojai kacharis and the Kacharis are all the same and we all want to unite together.

Hence we cannot forgo the demand for Dimaraji that easily.

It was our suggestion to the State and the Central Govt that if Dimaraji cannot materialise now , we want some benefits in form of a development Council to protect our rights and culture.

We are happy that it has materilaised in the form of Dimasa Autonomous Territorial Council.", he said .

He accused the State Govt for anti tribal thinking and lamented corruption from top to bottom .

However, he said that in the present Accord it has the provision that the Central Govt, State Govt as well as the DTAC will monitor funds jointly to avoid any corrupt practises and siphoning.

The whole battery of IPF/ISF leaders who had congregated at President Atheng Leingthang's residence also had a meeting with this Correspondent .

The ISF President, L.Lima Keivom and the GS of IPF Gnaidam Purolte were present alongwith IPF representatives from Zemi, Hmar and Kuki communities.

Atheng Leingthang said that the rule in Dispur and Delhi is autocratic and the DTAC has been imposed against the wish of the non �Dimasas.

" We want separate autonomous Council for us after bifurcation of the district under 6th Schedule with one MLA seat.

Nothing else will satisfy us.

DTAC can never solve the problem.

'' , said Atheng .

He said that the nomenclature change to Dima Hasao was a meaningless joke and lambasted Dilip Nunisa to be an outsider from Nowgaon district of Assam who doesn't at all understands the sentiments of the people.

He accused both factions of the DHD of terrorising and intimidating the non-Dimasas and said that while Dimasa areas enjoyed better infrastructure the non �Dimasa areas/villages continue to be in pathetic state.

" Dilip and Jewel and their men move with AK's.We do not.

Our demand is also very much within the realm of the Constitution the hand of the Governor....he can bifurcate the district.

"", said Atheng .

He said that the State Govt and the Central Govt have been giving false hopes and playing a game of volleyball with the non-Dimasas.

We know about the harassment to the people but have been compelled to give bandhs and strike call.

Even the police and the administration fails to take care of us and pays no heed when we are terrorised and intimidated by the Dimasa outfits'', he said.

S.Jemi , President of the Jemi Naga Council recounted recent incidents within last one month when Nagas have been brutalised and tortured by the DHD factions.

" Even the very next day of signing of the Accord i.e on the 9th of this month, a Jemi Naga girl was tortured and harassed badly in heart of Haflong.", he complained.

The IPF leaders took a snipe at the Dimasas---saying that they themselves are undivided and fractured like will they possibly take care of the non-Dimasas, that they so loftily preach, they asked.

The IPF and ISF leaders were also very appalled at the attitude of the local media who have almost boycotted them.

They finally said that they will continue their movement unless their demands are met.

The sender of this news can be contacted at sivaassam(at)gmail(dot)com .

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