Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Facing extinction, Dimasas seek ULFA support

SILCHAR, Nov 29: Being buoyed that the tripartite talk among the DHD, Union and State Government would ultimately culminate in creating a separate territorial set up for the Dimasas, the Dimasa People’s Council (DPC) sought the intervention of ULFA in helping the various parts, inhabited mostly by the Dimasa, to be included in the new administrative set up. DPC urged ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa to incorporate their demands in ULFA’s charter of demands which would be placed before the Union Government. Rajkhowa, attended a conference of DPC on Monday at Kumacherra where the Dimasa leaders requested him to take up their demands to the national level. Pranay Barman, president and Amlan Barman, general secretary of the DPC said, “at the time of creation of new territorial set up, the Dimasas inhabited villages in Cachar district along with other villages or areas from Karbi Anglong, Nagaon, and Nagaland which were contiguous to Dima Hasao must be merged with new set up else ensuring Dimasa Territorial Accord will be meaningless and there will never be a permanent peace in this part of Assam.”
Claiming themselves as the ‘erstwhile rulers of this land’, the DPC leaders said, it was unfortunate that because of influx they had been reduced microscopic minority. DHD boss Dilip Nunisa said, Dimasas once provided shelter to the displaced Bengalis of the erstwhile East Pakistan on humanitarian ground but today the existence of the Dimasas was in the face of extinction. In this backdrop the Bengalis now should reciprocate the gesture of the Dimasas had once shown and should support the stand of the DPC. However, Nunisa maintained that the government was not looking after the interest of the Hindu Dimasa as he significantly drew a line between Christian and Hindu Dimasas.
DPC leaders on the other hand said, they were hopeful that the governments, both in Delhi and Dispur, had stepped up activities for solving the Dimasa problems by creating a new territorial administrative set up. But at the same time they were apprehensive that Dimasa inhabited villages in Cachar would be left out of the proposed set up. They said, “despite having all the similarities in fields of culture, social, religion, history, language, rites and rituals, the Dimasas of different districts or areas for some unknown reasons, have been given different official recognitions by the government as if they were not one. In Cachar district we have been recognized as Barmans, whereas in Nagaon we are recognized as Hojai Kachari, in Karbi Anglong as Dimasas, in Nagaland as Kachari, in Karimganj as Rukhini Barman and in Dima Hasao as Dimasa Kachari.” They alleged that the discriminatory policy of the government had created confusion not only in terms of recognition but also divided them into small bits by marginalizing them into negligible pockets. They said, a great political blunder was committed at the time of creation of NC Hills Autonomous District Council favouring the Hill Dimasas who constituted only 30 per cent of the total Dimasa population leaving aside the 70 per cent of the Dimasas uncovered and unprotected facing threat to the existence of their identity.


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