Ethic violence erupted in Assam’s North Cachar Hills district again on Thursday, less than 72 hours after the government decided to relocate 10,000 villagers to safe clusters in a bid to launch an all-out counter-insurgency operation.
The latest incident claimed one life and saw 115 of 127 houses in the remote Digarkro village being reduced to cinders. With this death, the toll since February this year rose to 48 while over 6,500 people have been displaced.
“The incident happened around 3.30 pm yesterday, but we received information this morning. We rushed a team immediately to the place but we are yet to hear from our men,” said a senior district police officer from district headquarters Haflong, 355 km southwest of Guwahati.
Digarkro is some 70 km from Maibong police station. Maibong town is 50 km northeast from Haflong. The incident in this village coincided with the resumption of passenger train services on the hill section between Lumding in Nagaon district and Silchar in Cachar district of Assam.
Police do not rule out the involvement of either faction – Isak-Muivah and Khaplang – of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN). This Nagaland and Manipur-based outfits have reportedly been active after Dimasa militants began attacking Zeme Nagas five months back.
The outlawed Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel) or Black Widow is believed to be behind the attacks on Zeme Nagas. Ethnic cleansing allegedly resorted to by this outfit is based on its agenda of a Dimasa homeland called Dimaraji. The map of this homeland overlaps that of Greater Nagaland, the for-Nagas-only homeland NSCN is pursuing.
The cosmetics-loving DHD (J) top gun Jewel Gorlosa was earlier this month arrested from Bangalore, but that did prevent the outfit’s field operatives from continuing to strike terror. This, despite the deployment of over 70 companies of paramilitary forces in NC Hills besides police and army.