Assam: Marrying outside Karbi tribe to draw hefty fine, warns extremist group
The People’s Democratic Council of Karbi-Longri (PDCK), which claims to fight for the rights of Karbi tribal people in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district and beyond, warned young members of the tribe against courting or marrying those from other tribal and non-tribal communities.Updated: Jul 01, 2017 22:54 IST
A new tribe-specific extremist group in Assam has waged a war against what is believed to be an ethnic form of love jihad, prescribing a hefty fine and ‘physical punishment’ for men and women who marry outside the community.
The People’s Democratic Council of Karbi-Longri (PDCK), which claims to fight for the rights of Karbi tribal people in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district and beyond, on Saturday “banned” intermarriage.
It has warned young members of the tribe against courting or marrying those from other tribal and non-tribal communities. The outcome of defying the diktat: A fine of Rs 500,000 in cash and severe physical punishment.
“In olden times, the Karbis never mixed with people of alien culture talking to and sharing food with others used to be seen as an offence. If the Karbi do not follow the path of our forefathers, a day will come when our rich culture and tradition is distorted,” a statement for PDCK’s military chief David Mukrong said.
He insisted intermarriage would bring in evil practices such as dowry system, rape, molestation and murder from other cultures.
The PDCK also prescribed death sentence for rapists and molesters, and promised ‘dire consequences’ for those who sell alcohol, tobacco products, pornographic content and other forms of intoxicants near educational institutions, clubs and churches.
The upper limit of fine for offenders of this diktat is Rs 1,00,000.
“It has been a trend for new outfits in the Northeast to garner support by taking up social causes with a violent twist. But PDCK probably got the idea of anti-love jihad activism elsewhere in India to issue the diktat against intermarriage,” a senior Assam police officer said.
The hostile-again National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang and the Paresh Baruah-led United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent had helped Karbi tribal militants to form PDCK in Myanmar in October 2016.
PDCK is headed by Ingti Kathar Songbijit, the former head of the anti-talks faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB). This faction had under Songbijit earned notoriety for massacring more than 80 Adivasis in Assam in 2014.
Songbijit quit the NDFB more than a year ago to fight for his own community, the Karbis, instead of the Boros.