Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Indigenous People’s Forum to boycott polls

 HAFLONG:March 14 – Threatening to boycott the ensuing Assembly election, the Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF) communities of NC Hills in the 16 Haflong (ST) Assembly Constituency has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi, recently.
The memorandum maintained that the Dimasas constituted barely 35% of the total voters in the district Electoral Rolls-2008, published by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, NC Hills in 2008. In collusion with the Group of Ministers constituted by the Governor of Assam, it went ahead without the consent of the apex bodies of other communities and changed the nomenclature of NC Hills to ‘Dima Hasao District’ just to appease one particular community, i.e. the Dimasas.
Since the changing of the nomenclature of NC Hills, they, the Indigenous People’s Forum (indigenous non-Dimasa communities) had been demanding bifurcation of NC Hills into two autonomous districts-one for the Dimasas and the other for the non-Dimasas under the Articles 244(2) and 275(1) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
It is noteworthy that through the Governor’s notification, a Cabinet .Sub-Committee (Group of Ministers) was set up way back in July 16 last year in recognition of the demands and aspirations of the non-Dimasa communities living in NC Hills (now Dima Hasao). But not a single meeting between the IPF and Cabinet sub-Committee has been conducted till date.
Subsequently, a task force under the chairmanship of PP Verma, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam was constituted. As such, the task force immediately started collecting the population census of the proposed demand areas of the IPF through the student wing of the IPF.
However, the data duly collected by the IPF have been rejected by the task force citing inconsistencies in the data time and again even after repeated corrections and adjustments.
Constant delays by the Government and indifferent attitude towards its demand for bifurcation have made the IPF doubt the sincerity of the Government in its approach towards addressing the democratic and rightful demands of the IPF, whereby compelling the Indigenous People’s Forum (non-Dimasa communities of NC Hills) to take the extreme step of boycotting the forthcoming Assembly election of Assam in the demand area under the 16 Haflong (ST) Assembly Constituency.
The IPF communities of NC Hills therefore humbly request you to kindly influence the Government of Assam to immediately attend to our demand for bifurcation of the district under the above mentioned Articles of the Constitution of India, the memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner concluded.

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