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5 killed in tribal violence in Assam

June 03, 2009 21:36 IST

Five persons including two girl were killed and 54 houses were razed to the ground when suspected Dimasa tribe militants raided a remote village inhabited by a Naga tribe in a fresh incident of violence in the troubled North Cachar Hill district of Assam on Wednesday.

According to an official source, suspected Dimasa tribe militants from Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel Garlosa) or Black Widow outfit swooped down on Borchenam basti inhabited by the Zeme Naga tribe and fired indiscriminately before torching the entire village.

Five persons including two children, two elderly persons and one teen-ager were killed in this attack, which also left another child seriously injured. Fifty-four houses out of the total 56 houses in the village were razed to ground.

The village located on a remote hill-top about 30 km away from Haflong town of the hill district. The village is not linked by any motorable road hence was virtually unguarded by the security forces deployed in the violence-affected areas.

The situation has remained tense in the violence affected district where Naga and Dimasa militants have been attacking villages of Dimasa and Zeme Naga tribes since March this year rendering over 1700 people homeless so far. As many as 29 persons from both the tribes have been killed in 19 such incidents that exposed the precarious security scenario in the area.

A high-level team of Union Home Ministry visited Haflong last week to take stock of the prevailing situation in the hill district. Additional forces were rushed to the hill district after the review meeting held by the MHA team while police and the Army had been asked to coordinate their operations against militants in more effective way.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi claimed that the lack of proper roads in the hill district had been a major hurdle for security forces to operate effectively against militants. There has been heavy deployment of Army, police and paramilitary forces in the hill district to fight marauding tribal ultras who have the thickly forested and rugged terrain to their advantage.
Assam government has accused Black Widow militants of Dimasa tribe and Naga rebel groups , both NSCN-IM and NSCN-K, for the series of attacks and counter attacks on Dimasa and Naga villages in the hill district and termed it a part of design to stoke widespread ethnic clashes in the area.

K Anurag in Guwahati