A tribal militant group has whipped up sentiments ahead of its December 17 peace talks with New Delhi for the creation of a separate state. The demand coincided with the laying down of arms by another rebel group after striking a ‘state-like’ deal.
The Dilip Nunisa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) on Wednesday pushed for the creation of Dimaraji state by slicing off Dima Hasao (formerly North Cachar Hills) district. This hill district is dominated by the Dimasa tribal people.
The day also saw some 200 members of United Peoples’ Democratic Solidarity militant group surrender formally at Diphu, headquarters of Karbi Anglong district. The outfit representing Karbi tribal people had inked an agreement entailing greater autonomy for their district.
“As desired by the government, we underwent a course correction by abjuring violence. The ball for creation of a state for us is now in the court of the government. We will not rest until we get Dimaraji,” DHD chairman Dilip Nunisa said near Lanka town in central Assam’s Nagaon district.
The DHD entered into a ceasefire with the government in 2004. But it led to a split in the organization and subsequent birth of DHD (Jewel). The DHD is now left with around 700 armed cadres, lodged in some designated camps. The DHD (J) is also in a ceasefire but its peace talks with the government are yet to begin.
Dimaraji is DHD’s original demand but Nunisa said they were not averse to a territorial council provided the rights of all sections of the Dimasas were protected by it. He said the Dimasas had significantly scaled down from their original demands in the interest of peaceful solution of the issue.