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Brutal killings go on unabated in Assam hills

July 02, 2009 14:06 IST

Unidentified miscreants hacked to death four children and a woman and injured three others in the strife-torn North Cachar Hill district of Assam on Wednesday night while they were returning from their field, according to delayed report received in Guwahati.

A police source informed that the incident occurred at remote Semkhor village under Maibong police station. All the victims were from Dimasa tribe community.

The deceased were identified as Karong Thonglo (Female, 25), Lambo Langthasa (female, 6), Warsi Thonglo (2), Depola Langthasa (10) and Senring Langthasa (3).

With these dastardly killings, the death toll in continuing ethnic strife triggered by Dimasa and Naga tribe militants has risen to 55 since March 19. The violent incidents of killing and arson have been occurring despite heavy presence of security forces in the hill district.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Peoples' Forum has stated that 'the North Cachar Hills District, since 2003, has become the breeding ground for ethnic violence, killings and arson. The innocence public had to suffer a lot paving way for more mistrust and insecure feeling among communities.'

'The North Cachar Hills District is one of the two hill districts of Assam, which enjoys the status of Autonomous District under the provisions of the sixth schedule to the Constitution of India. It is inhabited by groups of tribes with mutually exclusive tribal social systems.

'The main hill tribes living in this district are the Dimasa, Zeme Naga, Hmar, Kukis, Karbi, Khasi (Jaintias or Syntengs), Biete (Biates), Hrangkhol, Khelma and Vaiphei. It should be noted here that, the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council was established to safeguard and promote the rights and interests of all tribal communities living in the district and certainly not for the Dimasa community alone.

'The most plausible reason for ethnic polarization and conflict among different tribes living in the district is certainly the unjustified decision of now suspended district council to change the district nomenclature of North Cachar Hill district to Dima Hasao Raji (that means hill kingdom of Dimasa tribe) last year. That created mistrust among different communities.'

K Anurag in Guwahati
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