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Violence in NC Hills forces many to flee

A burnt house of Zeme Naga Community at Chotoninglo in North Cachar Hills district of Assam recently. (EP)
Staff Reporter Dimapur, May 24(NPN):
Published on 25 May. 2009 12:15 AM IST
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With the ongoing violence in North Cachar Hills district in Assam where armed cadres of the DHD(J) unleashed a wave of terror, burning houses and targeting non-Kachari communities, the resultant influx has been felt in Nagaland’s Jalukie subdivision under Peren district as well as several areas under Manipur’s Tamenglong district. According to vice president of the Zeliangrong Baudi Nagaland Riatu, speaking to Nagaland Post Sunday, there were around one hundred displaced Zeme Nagas from NC Hills presently taking refuge in Jalukie with most being women and children. The displaced persons were taking shelter at the NST bus station at Jalukie town, empty houses in Jalukie ‘B’ and with local residents in Samzuiram. Zeme leaders from NC Hills were holding consultations with the ZB representatives in Jalukie to take stock of the magnitude of the human problem caused by the violence. It was also disclosed that the Assam Policemen crossed the border and launched operations in Khelma, Nkio, Nkio ‘B’ and Bamsiakilo in Nagaland. There were reports of harassment meted out to the Zeme villages, confiscation of 12 bore guns besides incidents of loot. According the ZB sources, the DHD(J)militants were armed with sophisticated weapons with the cadres often wearing uniforms of the CRPF or security forces. At least 12 people were killed during the past week in NC hills and several Zeme villages affected due to arson.In response to the threat, the non-Kachari communities have formed a nearly 200-strong Citizens’ Rights Protection Volunteers (CRPV) armed with muskets and 12 bore guns, comprising of Zeme Nagas, Kukis, Paites including Nepalis in NC Hills. NDTV reports: Niranjan Hojai and Jewel Garlosa’s instructions to their cadres are very clear. Starting Sunday DHD (J) militants are assigned to massacre all Nagas inhabiting North Cachar Hills, reports NDTV on Sunday. Zemi Nagas constitute 11 per cent of the district’s population dominated by the Dimasas. The massacre was planned meticulously. Target villages were marked, food supply was kept ready and even escape routes were worked out. But something seems to have gone wrong in the planning. For the first time in months the security forces have been able to encircle the militants and choke their supply routes. Caught in the security net are a number of wanted militants, including outfit’s commander Debolal Garlosa alias Daniel Garlosa, who has been leading the recent military offensive in the hills. More than two hundred houses have already been destroyed in retaliatory violence. Twenty two people have been killed between the violence between the two communities. DHD (J), once patronized by the NSCN (IM), has now gone against its own mentor. This is a regular turf war situation sparked by a faction of 65 cadres breaking away and taking shelter at the NSCN (IM) camps in Dimapur. Killing Nagas means hitting the NSCN (IM). The DHD (J) has also exploited this situation while stepping up its insurgent activities -- killing people, abducting contractors, firing indiscriminately on trains and security forces. A three-hour rail journey from Guwahati takes us to Lumding, an important railway junction. It’s here that the hill section begins. It was once a beautiful steam engine run meter gauge vintage train journey. The security forces may have been able to avert a major militant offensive today, but the DHD (J) has emerged as the most active militant outfit in the country. They have acquired long-range and sophisticated weapons. Their monetary collection far exceeds ULFA and NDFB. Their cadres are less, but they are going all out. If Mr Chidambaram is prioritizing his renewed role, N C Hills should be somewhere in his immediate priorities.

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