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Joint Press Release on 28th September,2012 Incident in Haflong

PRESS RELEASE of the

ZEME STUDENTS’ UNION, GUWAHATI

HMAR STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION, GUWAHATI

KUKI STUDENTS’ ORGANISATION, GUWAHATI

In view of the fateful incident of 28th September,2012 at Haflong, North Cachar Hills District during the 48 hours bandh called by I.P.F (Indigenous People’s Forum) in demand of the bifurcation of the district into two Autonomous Districts in which many innocent civilians, including women and minors, were brutally assaulted by the Security Forces in collaboration with the DHD(J) militants due to which many of them are fighting for their lives ,we strongly condemn the cowardly act and the brazen Human Rights violation of the Indigenous people which has become so common in the district.

The shameful incident, apart from exposing the partiality and biasedness of the Administration has, once again ,bring to light the pitiable plight of the Indigenous non-Diamsa communities of the district who, in spite of constituting 65% of the population, are given step-motherly treatment of the highest degree in their ancestral land. It is said that in Democracy numbers count, but in N.C Hills it has become crystal clear that it is ‘GUN’ alone which the government pays attention to. It may be further stated here that the incident of 28th September is a continuation of the barbaric and systematic pogrom perpetrated by the Dimasas to brutally crush the Indigenous people’s Constitutional and legitimate demand for the protection of their Rights and Honour. Another question we would like to put before the administration is how surrendered DHD(J) militants who are said to be confined to their designated camps could come out in large numbers with weapons and attack the innocent civilians including many women and minors and the Security Forces, instead of enforcing Ceasefire Ground Rules and taking action against the law-breakers, resorted to assault and indiscriminate firing upon the civilians. Once again, this has proved that the Law and Order machinery of the district is hand-in-glove with the Dimasa militants. The unprovoked and inhuman assault has laid bare the tall claims of the Government regarding peace and normalcy returning to the district forcibly renamed as Dima Hasao District against the wishes and protest of the majority people; it seems in the government’s lexicon, peace means succumbing to terror, violence and turning a deaf ear to the cries and pleas of the common people for justice. While neglecting the constitutional demand for bifurcation by the Indigenous people, the government is said to have made much progress in its talks with the Dimasa militants. By neglecting the peaceful and Democratic voices of the people and being ever-eager to heed only those practicing ‘Gun-Culture’ the government has set a very bad precedent in a district which has witnessed many ethnic-clashes.
Keeping the above grave circumstances in view, we demand –

1. The immediate bifurcation of the North Cachar Hills district into two autonomous districts under Article 244(2) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution to protect the Rights and dignity of the Indigenous non-Dimasa communities and to ensure their survival and also for communal peace, harmony and all-round development.
2. Appropriate action against all those involved in the inhuman assault on innocent civilians as per law and the immediate suspension of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of the district for complicity in the assault through their inaction against the gun-toting militants.
3. Adequate compensation to all those injured in the assault.
4. Shifting of all the designated camps of the Dimasa militants from populated areas especially from the district headquarter.

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